When we think of the LEGO® brand, brightly coloured building blocks often come to mind. But what if these simple plastic bricks were more than just a plaything? In a world where education is increasingly intersecting with interactive technology, the question arises: "Are LEGO bricks educational?"
Today, we delve into the heart of LEGO and their multifaceted world, exploring how these unassuming blocks stack up in the realm of learning and development. Join us as we piece together the evidence, brick by brick, to uncover whether LEGO truly hold the building blocks of education.
LEGO bricks boost child development
LEGO bricks have entertained generations of children. Yet, beyond the fun and imaginative play, LEGO® Education serves as a powerful learning tool. Here are some of the ways these beloved bricks aid brain development in young children.
Motor Skills Development
LEGO bricks require a certain level of precision and control to assemble, which can greatly benefit the development of fine motor skills in children. The act of picking up, placing, and snapping bricks together necessitates the use of small muscles in the hands and fingers, fostering dexterity and hand-eye coordination.
Children often encounter challenges when attempting to bring their LEGO creations to life. Whether it's figuring out how to stabilise a structure or finding the right piece to fit, such challenges nurture problem-solving skills. They learn through trial and error, and develop resilience and patience in overcoming obstacles.
LEGO blocks also encourage critical thinking by prompting children to plan and strategise. They need to think a few steps ahead, considering the size, shape, and colour of the blocks necessary to complete their projects. The open-ended nature of LEGO provides an excellent platform for kids to analyse, evaluate, and create, honing their critical thinking skills.
With LEGO bricks, the possibilities are endless. Open-ended play is at the heart of LEGO interaction, where children have the freedom to build, unbuild, and rebuild. This form of play sparks creativity, imagination, and innovation, allowing kids to express themselves freely and explore without predefined restrictions or outcomes.
LEGO embody the essence of hands-on learning, offering a tactile experience that enhances retention and understanding. When kids manipulate LEGO pieces, they are actively engaged in experiential learning, which is known to be more effective compared to passive learning methods.
When engaged in LEGO play with peers, children learn valuable social skills such as communication, collaboration, and sharing. They negotiate, cooperate, and learn the importance of teamwork as they work together to bring collective LEGO creations to life.
LEGO bricks are used in STEAM Education
LEGO bricks have transcended their toy status to become instrumental in the realm of STEAM education. They are tailored to meet students at their individual learning levels and blend LEGO blocks, user-friendly hardware, and coding to foster vital skills like creativity and critical thinking. By making abstract concepts concrete through hands-on activities and storytelling, LEGO bricks deepen and accelerate STEAM comprehension.
Moreover, the system's built-in support and professional development resources help educators easily adapt to and advance within the program. Flexible in design, LEGO sets can be implemented with or without technology, allowing gradual integration or full adoption to enhance learning outcomes.
One of the early examples of how LEGO blocks have been used for STEAM learning is how they influenced other companies to make their products compatible with LEGO bricks. For instance, Matatalab’s VinciBot and the Edison Robot are two coding robots that have been designed to be LEGO compatible. The result was more interactive hands-on lessons that helped students learn the complexities of coding in a simple and fun way.
Introducing LEGO® Education
LEGO® Education BricQ Motion
LEGO Education BricQ Motion provides an engaging introduction to STEAM without the need for technology. For primary school students, the BricQ Motion Essential Set helps them understand forces and motion by making children build their own LEGO designs and test them in the classroom.
For middle school students, the BricQ Motion Prime Set challenges them to apply scientific inquiry to demonstrate the effects of force and mass on an object's motion. It also incorporates lessons on Newton’s three laws of motion, allowing children to use their collaborative problem-solving and critical thinking.
Overall, the key benefits offered by the BricQ Motion sets include:
- Start with STEAM easily: it’s a simple way to learn about STEAM without needing any gadgets, making learning fun as students get to play and learn with LEGO bricks.
- Science lessons made fun: kids learn science by doing fun activities that help them smoothly move up from primary to secondary school.
- More ways to learn: BricQ Motion is part of a big family of LEGO learning tools. When kids are ready, they can move on to more advanced stuff like LEGO® Education SPIKE™.
LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Portfolio
The LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Essential Set is a versatile learning tool with a particular focus on coding. Made for primary school students, the set features a programmable smart Hub, and a coding language based on Scratch. This LEGO product aims to build confidence in learning STEAM subjects and help children develop 21st-century skills like coding.
Similarly, we have the LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Prime Set which is made for middle school students. The set is designed to further teach coding and is ideal for students who’ve already had some experience with the SPIKE Essential Set.
Overall, the key benefits offered by both SPIKE sets include:
- Solving real problems: kids learn to break big problems into small pieces and come up with smart ideas to solve real-life issues.
- Building confidence to create: it encourages kids to keep trying and learning. They can build, take apart, and rebuild stuff. This helps them learn from mistakes and get ready for the future.
- Teachers lead the way: SPIKE Prime comes with easy guides and lesson plans to help teachers. There’s also training to help teachers lead great science and tech classes.
- Learn to code with Python: kids can use SPIKE Prime to learn Python, a coding language that’s used in real world applications.
- Discover data science: with SPIKE Prime, students can learn how data works. They’ll see how different variables are connected and start to understand data science basics.
- Step into AI: SPIKE Prime introduces kids to AI by letting them play with sensors that detect movement.
Shop for LEGO Education at CD-Soft
With all the latest LEGO Education sets in stock, CD-Soft is your go-to destination for academic LEGO products and everything STEAM. Discover fast delivery Australia-wide and unrivalled customer service when it comes to getting your school supplies.If you need help selecting the best STEAM tools for your needs, contact our friendly team. We can go through all the specs and features to help you find the product that will benefit your students the most!