The newly completed LEGO Education Innovation Studio (LEIS) has been officially opened on DCU’s St Patrick’s Campus. Opened by Jesper Just Jensen, LEGO Education’s lead on innovation and Professor Brian MacCraith, President of DCU, the Studio will act as a dedicated interactive learning hub to help DCU student teachers and Irish schools develop innovative and creative approaches to teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & maths) subjects in the classroom.
A programme of annual events for learners across the education continuum (primary, post Primary, third level and adults) was announced, beginning with the FIRST LEGO League Jr Leinster and Munster competitions. The League is designed to introduce STEM concepts to kids aged 6 to 10 while exciting them through a brand they know and love - LEGO.
“DCU’s Institute of Education strives constantly to be at the vanguard of innovations in learning and today's LEIS launch highlights another example of this. We are very excited about the Studio’s ambitious ideas for teaching practices, research and outreach that will stimulate strong engagement with STEM subjects. Initiatives such as the LEGO League Jr Challenge ignite a lifelong passion for STEM subjects within our children at a very formative age.”
Professor Brian MacCraith, President of DCU and Chair of the STEM Education Working Group
Guided by adult coaches, teams explore a real-world scientific problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc. They create a Show Me poster that illustrates their journey of discovery, the research they engaged in and introduces their team. They also construct a motorised model using LEGO elements including sensors (e.g. touch, tilt) to capture what they learned. They learn about teamwork, engage in critical thinking, problem-solving, skilled communication and self-regulation, which are the skills needed for our complex, connected world.