Teacher Feature: Aisha Kristiansen
Aisha Kristiansen is a Year 5 & 6 Teacher at Christ the King Primary School, in Newcomb, Victoria. In addition, she is a Learning and Teaching Leader, Special Needs Coordinator, and an FLL Coach. Aisha is Passionate about STEM Education and cutting-edge technologies.
How long have you been a teacher, and what ages/subjects do you teach?
I was lucky enough to find my passion early. I have been teaching upper primary for around 16 years and I have loved every minute! I started my career at Haileybury College in Brighton and I currently work at Christ the King Primary School in Geelong.
What are the most important things that you want your students to learn?
There are so many competing skills in today’s society, but I love critical and creative thinking. When students think critically about the world and aren’t afraid to be creative with their solutions to problems, then they can truly change the world.
When did you start using LEGO Education products in the classroom?
I was introduced to FIRST LEGO League through Milorad Cerovac - one of the most passionate LEGO enthusiasts I know. Milorad ran a FIRST LEGO League workshop in Geelong and from that point on, I was hooked. His enthusiasm is highly contagious!
What have been the benefits?
Milorad once said, “The team doesn’t build the robot, the robot builds the team!” and never a truer word has been spoken. Watching students grow and develop, with an authentic sense of purpose and direction is one of the greatest benefits of this program.
How does it fit in with the curriculum?
There are so many direct links to the Victorian Curriculum. FIRST LEGO League is not only rich in The Capabilities, but it also covers Design and Digital Technologies, Maths, Science and English. The added bonus of the FLL program is that it gives students the opportunity to work well above the expected standard for their age.
What have been the greatest challenges / blockers?
The greatest challenge has been embedding FIRST LEGO League into our wider curriculum, so that more of our students can benefit from the experience.
Could you tell me about one student who has been positively affected?
How about one team! We have only been competing in FIRST LEGO League for two years, but we have experienced enormous success. In 2016, our team made it through to the Nationals at Macquarie University in Sydney. In 2017, the team went one better and qualified for the International Competition in Hungary. Our team will be heading to Debrecen in May and for many of our students, it will be their first time overseas. It just goes to show that a little bit of passion can go a long way!
Do you have any advice for teachers thinking about getting started with LEGO Education?
JUST DO IT! You will never look back.