As the Lego Discovery Center at Springfield Town Center opens to the public on August 14, Andrew Litterst, the first person to be named Master Model Builder in the DC region, talks with us about his passion for Legos.
How did you become interested in Legos?
The first set I remember getting was the Enchanted Island with pirates, released in 1994. It remains one of my favorites to this day, and I give it a lot of credit for sparking my interest. I also have to give a lot of credit to my grandparents, who kept my dad’s and uncle’s sets from the ’60s and ’70s. My brother and I would spend hours playing with them.
What did you do before becoming a Master Model Builder?
I taught high school earth and environmental science for three years in Richmond before moving to Alexandria and teaching for another five.
What will you do in this position?
One of my primary duties is going to be the development of workshops. I’m also acting as the main spokesperson for the attraction. And I’m responsible for creating plans for community engagement events and after-school programs.
Are there any NoVA landmarks you would like to re-create?
I’ve been slowly working on a design for a Mount Vernon build, and I’d like to work on ideas to incorporate Reagan National Airport into the attraction somewhere down the line.
What do you love most about Legos? What messages do you hope to impart to other Lego lovers?
As a former STEM teacher, I’ve always been a huge advocate of engineering and design challenges, and there’s no better physical embodiment of the scientific method than a pile of Lego bricks. I want to convey that there’s no right or wrong way to create with Lego. It only matters that you’re happy with what you’ve created and that you had fun doing it.
Feature image courtesy Lego Discovery Center