If you’re like us and grew up in the 80’s or 90’s, chances are you have memories of sitting on the living room floor with a bunch of LEGOs. My brothers favored creating tall buildings, vehicles or batman sets. For me, it was gardens. Sitting down at our vast bins of LEGOs, I loved sifting through the kaleidoscope of bricks to find the perfect pieces to create jungles, waterfalls, wildflower fields, and grottoes, perhaps with the occasional castle thrown into the mix.
LEGOs are a timeless toy, continuing to enthrall kids just as much today as they have in decades past. These days, however, their merchandise has expanded to include programing and coding integration with their brick building kits. In addition to their cool online store, where you can find kits of all types, LEGO has a remarkable set of online resources for teachers. They have created over 400 lesson and unit plans. The plans are detailed, and cover necessary prep work, instructions and activities. The lesson plans are developed for kids Pre-K to middle school ages, and are aligned to nationwide Common Core Standards. The lessons are built around the vision of re-engaging students through the power of purposeful play.
LEGO knows that sometimes, despite the deep desire to invite hands-on learning into the classroom, startup costs can be a real hinderance. They’ve worked to combat this issue by offering a variety of funding and grant options to help mitigate the financial burden for individual classrooms as well as school districts.
LEGO offers professional development courses for teachers as well. The courses aim to equip and inspire educators to incorporate playful, hands-on STEAM learning in their classrooms. Teachers can also become LEGO Ambassadors, where they can connect with like-minded professionals and provide feedback about LEGO Education.
We’ve always been LEGO fans here at Apollo, and we appreciate the company even more for the investment they are making into the field of education. Inspiring a love of STEAM disciplines ensures a strong, varied workforce in the future. After all, those little hands building with LEGOS may one day be the hands that build skyscrapers, program super computers, or make incredible medical discoveries. And all this can start with a bit of curiosity, inspiration, and playful tools like LEGOS.