Lego, the bricks that taught every ’90s kid how to build a brightly coloured hospital without the need for cement, planning permission or health and safety regulations, will now be used to help teach STEM to kids in Ireland.
St Patrick’s College in Drumcondra, which hosts 2,500 students studying in the education field, has partnered with Lego Education to help build better tools for teachers to get STEM ideas across to students.
St Pat’s – a linked college with nearby DCU – will be the first centre of teacher education in Ireland to go down this route, using Lego equipment to aid in science, maths, technology and engineering lessons.
Called the Lego Education Innovation Studio, the St Pat’s students will develop new approaches to teaching that can be replicated in schools throughout the country. More than just the bricks of old, Lego Education brings in things like computing and electronics to give a bit of a broader scope to teachers.
“Our ultimate purpose […] is to inspire and develop students to think creatively, reason systematically and release the potential to shape their own future and the future of their students in turn,” said Prof Brian MacCraith, DCU’s president, who hopes the collaboration will develop a “sense of wonder” in the classroom.
With the capability to link up with DCU’s other research centres, the new studio will also work as an international hub to spread the lessons out into Europe – a network of partners in the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland is already in place.
A previous Lego project in St Pat’s developed by Dr Deirdre Butler has already proved popular, with Butler hopeful of this assisting teachers “across the full spectrum” of education.
Lego image via Lewis Tse Pui Lung/Shutterstock