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Competition Overview

Battle of the Bricks envisions a day when all young people, regardless of ethnic or socio-economic background, will have equal access and opportunity to pursue the sciences and the field of science itself will reflect our society's great diversity. Specifically, Battle of the Bricks' mission is:

To foster creativity and innovative thinking among youth in underserved communities through constructive, hands-on experiences 

To develop design and engineering skillsets to prepare scientists of tomorrow through access to educational opportunities

To improve the quality of life and increase self-esteem of young people by encouraging their intellectual curiosity


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Age Divisions

All Black or Latino students who are ages 8 to 17 on June 3, 2012, can apply.

If you are 8 to 13 years old on that date, you will be in the Junior Division.

If you are 14 to 17 years old, you will be in the Senior Division.


What You Need to Build


The Island Connector

Imagine that there are two islands next to each other in the middle of theocean. On one island, the inhabitants have built  houses where they live, eat, sleep, and play. On the other island, the people have built businesses, stores, and restaurants where they work. Your job is to design something that will let the people cross between the two islands. This can be a bridge, a vehicle, a combination of the two, or something else altogether. After you have your design figured out, build it using 750 to 2000 LEGO® bricks. 

Note: You do not have to build the islands, only the connector you've designed to be between them. 


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All Designs Must Be Original

Keep in mind that we are asking you to create something that has never been done before. Do not purchase and build a predesigned LEGO® set, or use your LEGO® bricks to create a building that already exists. Be original, and think outside the box.


How Designs will be Judged


The following is a list of design criteria that will be considered by the judges when evaluating entries at all levels of the Battle of the Bricks competition. You should carefully read this page and use it as a resource when designing and building your entry, and as a guide to help you write a good description of your build in the application.

Criteria 1: Functionality

Does the design work? Can the people easily cross between the two islands? 

Criteria 2: Originality + Risk-Taking

Is the design of your Island Connector new and exciting? Are you taking risks with your design, experimenting with new ideas, or are you playing it safe?

Criteria 3: Beauty + Experience

Is your design beautiful? Is your Island Connector a beautiful object to look at? Would it be an exciting experience to cross between the two islands?

Criteria 4: Description + Thoughtfulness

Is your design well thought out? Use the description section of the application to tell us how your design works, and why you made the choices you did. What do you think makes your design interesting?

Criteria 5: The "X" Factor

Does your design go above and beyond? Does it create an experience that makes it stand out? Is it so well thought out that it seems like the "right" answer to the problem?



The Preliminary Round


Who: Any and all Black or Latino students from ages 8 to 17.

What: The Battle of the Bricks Preliminary Round. A national architecture, engineering and design competition that challenges you to design new buildings out of LEGO® Bricks.

When: The Preliminary Round and Application will be available online from September 12, 2011 until December 9, 2011 at 11:59 pm.

Where: You can build your design at your home, your school, or anywhere else that is available.

Why: Applicants will get a chance to be selected to compete in the Semi-Final and Final rounds in Southeastern Michigan from May 30th to June 3, 2012.

How: Complete an original design and build of 750 to 2000 LEGO® bricks that responds to our theme: The Island Connector. Get parent permission and an adult advisor, and then fill out the online application. You may submit up to three different applications. Each application must be a unique design that responds to one of the themes. More information on the themes and how to apply can be found below.



How to Apply  


What You Will Need

A computer with Internet, a digital camera, 750 – 2000 Lego Blocks, the permission of a parent or a legal guardian, and an adult sponsor.

*Note: You can purchase discounted bricks here:  Enter the code: "Battle11" to get an additional 10% off. If you have a financial hardship to obtain bricks for your build, please e-mail BattleBricks at for additional suggestions for low-cost brickss.

What You Need To Do

1. Sign up for a free account with Battle of the Bricks at

2. Fill out all information in the Application Form

3. Have a parent or legal guardian fill out the Parental Permission Form

4. Find an Adult Advisor (any family member, school teacher, family friend, or other trusted adult to work with you and give you advice and support throughout the competition) and fill in their contact information on the Adult Advisor Form.

5. Design and build your Island Connector using 750 to 2000 LEGO® Bricks. See the Themes and Design Criteria Sections below for ideas.

6. As you build your structure, take the following 10 pictures with your digital camera. Make sure all pictures fill up the entire frame, are clear, and are not edited. They should be 300 dpi  high quality photos no larger than 2MB in file size.

  • A picture of you with your build at 25% completion.
  • A picture of you with your build at 50% completion.
  • A picture of you with your build at 75% completion.
  • A picture of you with your build at 100% completion.
  • A picture of the north* side of your completed build.
  • A picture of the east* side of your completed build.
  • A picture of the south* side of your completed build.
  • A picture of the west* side of your completed build.
  • A picture of the top view of your completed build.
  • A picture of your choice of the completed build.

*note: it is up to you to determine the north, south, east and west sides of the build*

7. Upload your 10 photographs to your application. You should see 10 Fields beneath the Build Description Form, each one asking for one of the photos listed above. Make sure you upload the correct photo to each field.

8. Complete the Build Description Form, writing 200 words about your design, providing information about the build, and then writing another 100 words about your interest in Battle of the Bricks. Use the Theme and Design Criteria sections below to get ideas about how to talk about your build.

9. Once all 4 Forms have been completed and all 10 photos have been uploaded, click on the Submit Button.

10. Judges will begin reviewing your application after the application deadline (December 9th, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST)

11. You will be notified if you are in the finals by January 23, 2012.

Remember, you are allowed to submit up to 3 different applications.