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Unlocking Learning: The Benefits of Lego in Education and How It Can Transform Learning

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

John Dewey, the American philosopher, educationist, and father of experiential learning once insisted:


"Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results."


The importance of hands-on and experiential learning was stressed by John Dewey when he made this incredibly important and enlightening statement. Hands-on learning experiences not only encourage learners' curiosity but also stimulate their thinking so that they can participate in meaningful learning. Dewey believed, and rightly so I believe, that students are more likely to learn concepts, make connections, and develop a deeper understanding of a range of subjects when they participate in hands-on activities. This is not just some theoretical concept divorced from the real world. As an experienced teacher and curriculum developer myself, I can't overstress the importance of providing these opportunities for students.



LEGO sets itself apart as an extraordinary tool for facilitating experiential learning among students, nurturing their creativity, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking skills. With its distinctive interlocking bricks, LEGO empowers students to engage in construction, design, and investigation, igniting their imaginative faculties and empowering them to become active participants in their own educational voyage. Embracing the realm of LEGO, students embark on a thrilling adventure of exploration, constructing solutions, collaborating with peers, and honing vital skills essential for success in the contemporary world.



Benefits of LEGO in Education


Enhancing STEM Skills:

LEGO helps students learn science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through hands-on building and designing. It improves problem-solving, critical thinking, and spatial reasoning. LEGO's interactive nature encourages experimentation and logical thinking, enabling students to explore different solutions and develop their STEM skills.


Developing Creativity and Imagination:

LEGO sparks creativity and imagination through open-ended play. Students can construct unique models, create storylines, and bring their ideas to life. LEGO's versatility allows for endless possibilities, fostering imaginative thinking and encouraging students to think outside the box.


Fostering Collaboration and Communication:

LEGO promotes collaboration as students work together to solve problems and build complex structures. It also emphasizes effective communication, negotiation, and teamwork. Collaborating with peers enhances social skills, empathy, and the ability to work well in a team. LEGO teaches students the value of diverse perspectives and effective communication for successful collaboration.



LEGO Products for Educational Settings


LEGO Education Sets:

LEGO Education sets are designed specifically for educational environments. They cover various subjects and age groups, aligning with curriculum standards. These sets provide engaging hands-on learning experiences.


Here are some examples of LEGO Education sets categorized by age group and subject:


Preschool and Early Learning:

  1. LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train - Introduces counting, numbers, and early math concepts.

  2. LEGO Education STEAM Park - Encourages early science, technology, engineering, arts, and math exploration through play.

Primary School:

  1. LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 - Combines LEGO building with coding, robotics, and engineering for hands-on learning.

  2. LEGO Education Simple Machines Set - Teaches students about the principles of simple machines and mechanics.

  3. LEGO Education StoryStarter - Inspires creative storytelling and literacy skills development.

Middle School:

  1. LEGO Education SPIKE Prime - Integrates LEGO building, coding, and robotics for STEAM learning.

  2. LEGO Education Renewable Energy Add-on Set - Explores concepts related to renewable energy and sustainability.

  3. LEGO Education Science and Data Logging Pack - Facilitates data collection and analysis for scientific investigations.

High School:

  1. LEGO Education Mindstorms EV3 - Provides advanced robotics, programming, and engineering capabilities.

  2. LEGO Education BricQ Motion Prime Set - Focuses on physics, forces, motion, and engineering principles.

  3. LEGO Education Technic Engineering Set - Allows students to explore advanced mechanical and structural concepts.

A LEGO Education set

(Image is taken from the Lego Education website)


LEGO Mindstorms and Robotics:

LEGO Mindstorms is a fantastic robotics platform for teaching programming, engineering, and problem-solving. Students design, build, and program their robots, developing computational thinking and logical reasoning.


LEGO Mindstorms teaches programming, engineering, and problem-solving in the following ways:


Programming

Using a visual programming language, users can control their robots by arranging blocks that represent commands. They learn about sequencing, loops, conditionals, and variables.


Engineering

Building LEGO Mindstorms robots introduces users to basic engineering principles, like gears, levers, and mechanical structures. They understand how different components work together.


Problem-Solving

Users solve challenges and tasks with their robots, requiring them to think critically, break down problems, and come up with solutions. They learn to analyze, iterate, and improve their designs.


Creativity

LEGO Mindstorms encourages creativity by allowing users to customize their robots. They experiment with different configurations, sensor placements, and programming approaches to optimize performance.


Collaboration

LEGO Mindstorms can be used collaboratively, promoting teamwork and communication skills. Users work in groups, share ideas, and solve challenges together, enhancing communication and cooperation.


Real-World Applications

LEGO Mindstorms connects programming and engineering to real-world applications. Users can explore fields like robotics competitions, automation, or environmental monitoring, making the learning experience more practical and relevant.




LEGO Architecture and Design:

LEGO Architecture sets allow students to explore architectural principles, historical landmarks, and design concepts. Students recreate famous buildings, developing an appreciation for aesthetics and understanding different architectural styles.


Here are just a few of the myriad iconic structures that can be built with LEGO Architecture sets:

  1. The Eiffel Tower - Recreate the famous iron lattice tower located in Paris, France.

  2. The Statue of Liberty - Build a miniature version of the iconic statue in New York City, USA.

  3. The Sydney Opera House - Construct the distinctive sail-like design of this landmark in Sydney, Australia.

  4. The Taj Mahal - Create a replica of the stunning marble mausoleum located in Agra, India.

  5. The Louvre - Build a representation of the renowned art museum situated in Paris, France.



So, Should Parents and Educators Encourage LEGO Play?


Definitely yes! LEGO is essential for education, impacting students' development positively. It enhances STEM skills, fosters creativity, and promotes collaboration and communication. Educators, parents, and students should explore LEGO's educational potential, including LEGO Education sets, LEGO Mindstorms, and LEGO Architecture. These versatile tools provide engaging learning experiences across subjects and age groups, igniting a lifelong love for learning and equipping students with the skills they need for the future. Stay tuned with us for a more thorough analysis of LEGO for educational purposes.


Check out the official LEGO Education website to see how educators can incorporate LEGO in their teaching, or to shop around for some of these great products.




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