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LiteZilla in Veterans Park Library Sparks Imagination

Veterans Park Elementary (VPE) has a new learning tool and a new toy for students – LiteZilla!

Jessica Ault, the school’s library media specialist, bought it with funds from the Bright Ideas Grants program and proceeds from last year’s book fair. “I wanted something interactive for the kids to play with and spark that STEM brain while they’re in the library,” she said. (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math.)

A handful of fifth graders who produce VPE’s morning news show were the first to try it. They got to work quickly after choosing an illustration from a book of samples. “The original idea was for a star, but we didn’t know if we had enough blue (light pins), so we went with the (holiday) present,” said 11-year-old Harper Mullannix.

The group mostly followed the pattern, but weren’t afraid to modify the design. That’s where individuals’ creativity factors in, along with problem solving. “There’s a bunch of cooperation and teamwork involved,” Harper added.

This LiteZilla – which measures 46-by-38 inches and costs $8,600 – is attached to the wall near the checkout desk. Ault made sure to install it low enough to the floor that kindergartners can reach it, too. She anticipates that students of all ages will enjoy creating colorful pictures and patterns with light. 

The activity also hits a nostalgic note with teachers and staff who remember a similar toy from childhood. As Ault noted, “Their faces light up as much as the students’!”

Posted Dec. 7, 2022