EVENT: Twelve Pittsburgh youths, ages 9-14, will display a city they've built with LEGO pieces over the past four months as part of a research project involving Carnegie Mellon University undergraduates with expertise in computer science and intelligent media design. The 162- foot-square cityscape they've built, which includes hills and valleys, contains houses, public buildings, a railroad, roads, bridges and traffic lights. Small cars equipped with sensors that enable them to stop at traffic lights, turn at intersections and respond to other vehicles will drive autonomously through the city. The eight boys and four girls working on the city attend Arsenal Middle School, Frick International Studies Academy, Rogers Middle School for the Creative and Performing Arts, East Hills Elementary School, and the Pittsburgh Urban League Charter School . Carnegie Mellon senior Michael Rosenblatt says he and his colleague, Leah Miller, used the city concept to foster collaboration among the youths. One of the objectives of the research project is to develop technology for collaborative learning and play. Rosenblatt says the project is unique in that no one has ever had enough LEGO blocks to build an entire city. The project is funded with a $1,000 Student Undergraduate Research Grant from Carnegie Mellon and also has support from the Penn Avenue Arts Initiative, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab and The LEGO Group, headquartered in Billund, Denmark.
WHERE: 5133 Penn Ave., between S. Evaline and Winebiddle streets in the Friendship section of the city.
WHEN: 6-8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 8.
For more information, check the Living LEGO City Web site at http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/~mr4/legocity.html.