WPI’s Got What? . . . LEGO Club
IQP, MQP, HUA, SGA, and of course, WPI—acronyms are nothing out of the ordinary here, but there’s a new one being thrown into the mix: MOC.
“It’s LEGO terminology,” explains Jeffrey Wu ’22, “as in, ‘my own creation.’”
The term typically refers to freestyle creations made with those colorful little bricks we’ve all grown up with (and tried to avoid stepping on for just as long), but in this case, the new LEGO Club on campus could be considered Wu’s biggest MOC to date.
Wu, Daler Kang ’22, and Marcus Chalmers ’22—the club’s president, treasurer, and vice president, respectively—created the LEGO Club late last year. Wu had plans back in high school to create a LEGO club at his future college. He was surprised to find that a LEGO club wasn’t already in place at WPI, a school with such a focus on hands-on culture, and after some investigation, realized that he wasn’t alone in his interest. In an effort to share his passion with his fellow students while also drawing attention to the skill, artistry, and attention to detail required of building, the LEGO Club was founded.
In a world where most people might consider LEGO building to be a solitary venture, Wu sees the exact opposite. “LEGO building has always been a social activity in my life,” he says. “...every MOC I’ve created seemed to not fulfill its purpose until I had it put on display among other builders.”
The club serves as a place for Wu to do just that. It’s a haven for LEGO enthusiasts across campus, so it only makes sense that WPI’s own LEGO Lady, director of the Housing & Residential Experience Center and assistant dean of students Casey Wall, is the club’s advisor. “I love that my passion for LEGO is shared with so many students,” she says, adding that while she likes to complete LEGO kits, her favorite thing is hearing about and seeing what club members build based on their own imagination and creativity piece by piece.
Some of those builds?
They’ve already got a replica of the Innovation Studio (designed by Patrick Nieman ’23) under their belt; Wu himself has created a proportionally accurate model of British battleship HMS Nelson (which he finished among the papers, projects, and finals of last D-Term), and their pièce de résistance, a 1:300-scale model of the WPI campus itself. “It’s a long-term project,” he says, simply.
We hope we’re not the only ones looking forward to seeing Gompei in LEGO form.
The club hosts regular building sessions on weekend afternoons, where attendees have access to hundreds of bricks and are encouraged to either create anything when inspiration strikes them or—for an added challenge—adhere to different themes or constraints set by their fellow members. Interested students may email the club for more information on upcoming builds.
OK, enough talking—let’s go build some LEGOs.
-By Allison Racicot
Editor's note: The LEGO Club has been hard at work in 2021 on their latest project, which they refer to in the story below as their pièce de résistance: a 1:300-scale model of campus. We’ve added some new photos of their latest endeavor at the end of this story (and keep your eyes peeled; they’re planning on making everything to Boynton Street by November).
Find Your Niche
With an environment that empowers students to pursue their passions, you'll find there's a club or organization for everyone at WPI—from the Society of Magicians and fencing to underwater hockey and the cheese club. Get to know some of them.