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University of Arizona student competes for LEGO Master title

The final season of the TV series “LEGO Masters” features a University of Arizona student who is not only making strides in the world of LEGO, but also achieving goals for his future.

Liam Norris is a freshman at UA, and he and his mother Emily Norris are teammates on the series, making it the first “LEGO Masters” mother-son duo.

“LEGO Masters” was created in 2020 and is a competition-based show that involves teams of two participating in competitive brick building. The show creates various challenges that each team must compete in and win each week in order to be crowned LEGO Master at the end with a grand prize of $100,000.

Norris’ journey to being on “LEGO Masters” spanned years, as his childhood hobby grew into something that landed him on the popular show.

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“I first got into LEGO when I was six and got my first LEGO Power Miners set which was an old theme that really caught my imagination, and from there I just wanted to build some more and more,” Norris said.

From then on, his love for LEGO sprouted into what it is now.

“I started creating my own designs and at one point when I was a little older I started a LEGO design club in the community for other kids who were interested. My mom actually trained my FIRST LEGO League [Challenge] team for four years, so LEGO was really in every aspect of my life, and that was before I really got involved in the online community,” Norris said.

Although Norris has a passion for LEGOs and building, his creative works show up in several areas of his life, including his studies.

“I’m a film and television specialist, and aside from LEGO, film and television is a big creative passion of mine and I both intersect in many ways that aren’t immediately obvious,” said Norris. “Being on ‘LEGO Masters’ was really cool for me, not just in terms of being in this amazing LEGO environment, but also in terms of getting to meet all these different producers and stuff. on set and learn about and experience how it really works.

The pieces Norris makes are eye-catching and creative, but his works go beyond what non-LEGO experts may be able to visualize.

“I really put storytelling first, so I really like to think about what the story could be, whether it’s in a LEGO or a movie, and I think that connection to creativity in LEGO helps me in the movie, because LEGO is kind of therapeutic and just enjoyable for me. It kind of helps me de-stress and connect more to my creative side,” Norris said.

Norris said that this creativity he uses working with LEGO helps him to be creative in other aspects of his life. He has big aspirations for his future and hopes to use his talent as a creative outlet, but also to build a career.

“I can kind of use that energy when I get into film, and in addition to working in film and TV, I would also like to work as a LEGO designer one day, so we’ll see if that works,” Norris said.

After graduating from high school, he took a year off to participate in “LEGO Masters”. He said that doing school and being on the show at the same time would have been too much because the show was a huge time commitment with sometimes 13 hour long days. Although Liam Norris is not originally from Arizona, he is eager to find a community in Tucson.

“I grew up in Virginia most of my life and looked at schools in Virginia first. And the options near me were great schools, but they didn’t have much in terms of education. ‘arts and the more creative side of things,” said Liam Norris. “Those didn’t feel quite right to me, so coming to UA was great because there’s a lot going on in terms of creative opportunities.”

Norris also hopes to bring his passion for LEGO to UA.

“I’ve met other students who like to make LEGO, or have done it before, so I think this could be a really great opportunity. Honestly, I’m new here, so it’s a bit too much for me to thinking right now like starting a club or something, but I think at some point it’s going to be really fun,” Liam Norris said.

Although many people simply see LEGO as a toy from their childhood and a fun pastime, for Liam Norris, LEGO goes beyond just using it.

“I like to think of LEGO as a toy in the sense that I really like creating constructions that can be enjoyed by others. I would like to work for LEGO one day, designing sets that children can play with and enjoy fun, just like I loved to play with when I was a kid, and still do. So not just kids, but kids and adults,” Norris said. “So that would be a real dream for me, to work on set design and not just sets, but I also like interactive experiences. So, for example, combining physical LEGO play with digital LEGO play, or other cutting-edge opportunities like that, I think that would be really great.

“LEGO Masters” is available to stream on FOX and airs Wednesdays on 9/8 Central.


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