DCU Lego Education Innovation Studio aims to ignite lifelong passion for STEM
24 March 2017
Forty teachers took part in the workshop
As part of Engineers Ireland Week, the Dublin City University (DCU) Lego Education Innovation Studio (LEIS) hosted an exciting hands-on STEM workshop for 40 primary-school teachers.
Initially, we planned on working with 20 teachers but the demand for places was so great we had to double the number of places and had a waiting list. Teachers travelled from all over Leinster to participate in this fun-filled two-hour workshop from 6pm to 8pm. These teachers came from across the full range of the primary sector (infants to sixth), including many resource and learning support teachers as well as some who also engage in after STEM-related school clubs.
Check out the photos, videos and comments on #DCULEIS, which captures the flavour and engagement on the evening. Such was the intensity of engagement that nobody could believe the two hours had elapsed, remarking that they could happily have stayed on for another two hours at least.
Working in pairs using the Lego Education WeDo 2.0 materials, the teachers constructed, tested and programme a number of motorised models incorporating motion and tilt sensors. The beauty of these user-friendly materials meant the teachers could easily modify the design and or functionality of their creations, making alterations to the construction or programming based on the performance of their models.
The hands-on activities using expressive computational materials coupled with focussed ongoing discussion throughout the workshop enabled the teachers to link the activities they were engaged in to the primary school curriculum and to the applicability of these concepts in our everyday world.
DCU LEGO Education Innovation Studio
The DCU LEGO Education Innovation Studio is a dedicated interactive learning hub on St Patrick’s Campus, Drumcondra, which will help DCU student teachers as well as practising teachers in Irish schools develop innovative and creative approaches to teaching STEM (science, t echnology, engineering and maths) subjects in the classroom. Working in this way, models how the principles of the Digital Strategy for Schools and the STEM report can be effectively put into action.
Engaging in professional learning experiences, such as the two-hour workshop in DCU’s LEIS as part of Engineers Week, can help teachers design exciting STEM-related learning environments and appropriate learning activities for their students.
It also has the potential to multiple the impact as each teacher in turn could design equally exciting STEM-related learning experiences for the children they interact with in a range of settings both as part of the formal curriculum, as well as outside school-related clubs and activities. For example, if each teacher works with just 20 children, then the 40 teachers we had participating in the LEIS workshop recently potentially could impact 800 children’s understanding and interest in STEM.
If we could find a way to fund and support this multiplier effect, then initially hundreds and then thousands of children nationwide could have the opportunity to engage with exciting learning challenges, which can be the spark to ignite a lifelong passion for STEM subjects with our children at a very formative age.
Through its leadership of a European-wide teacher education network, the DCU Innovation Studio will develop a strong research component to document the learning which develops as a result of engaging with this type of immersive learning experience.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2017/03/24/dcu-lego-education-innovation-studio/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Eng_Ire_WkShop-1024x683.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Eng_Ire_WkShop-300x300.jpgNewseducation,engineers week,STEM