LEGOs have been hands-on, go-to toys for generations, but today’s schools are increasingly using them to spark student interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. The recent LEGO Smart Creativity Contest put the spotlight on how teachers are using them to enhance their STEM—as well as English and social studies—lessons, and inspire student innovation.
The grand prize winner, Meadowbrook School in suburban Boston, combined engineering and storytelling to power their LEGO city. In the above original song and video, the school's students show how they used LEGOs and NXT robotics to accomplish the task. What's especially encouraging is that lead teacher Dotty Corbiere had students take an environmentally conscious approach to the project. They had to figure out how to program the robots to complete six missions focused on energy conservation, managing renewable energy, and reducing waste. Indeed they use their robots to build a green city complete with wind turbines and robot-installed solar panels.
It's great to see kids getting the opportunity to take science and technology content out of books and apply it in such a fun way. Given that increasing the number of students pursuing STEM fields is a national priority, let's hope these kids are inspired to stick with it for the long haul.