The Ultimate Makerspace Starts With Curiosity
LEGO Education. Curiosity Builds
LEGO Education. Curiosity Builds
Making something is an iterative process. You start with a prototype and refine it until you arrive at the best solution. The LEGO brick, with its simple and intuitive building system is the perfect prototyping tool. You take a handful of bricks and start building. If it doesn’t work, you simply modify and retest.
LEGO Education Maker is a continuum of activities centered around the iconic LEGO brick and inspired by the open-ended, playful creativity of Maker. LEGO Education Maker includes rapid prototyping tools for all ages that apply hands-on, often cooperative learning experiences to solve real-world problems.
LEGO Education Maker empowers every student to follow their curiosity wherever it leads them, in a safe, inspiring, and instantly accessible environment. Acting as facilitators, educators give students the freedom and the means to invent, letting them create amazing, unexpected solutions to everyday challenges. If students can imagine it, they can make it.
LEGO Education Maker activities include stimulating challenges for every student at every education level, from Preschool through Elementary and Middle School. As well as developing students’ team work, critical thinking, creative problem solving and communication skills, LEGO Education Maker activities incorporate easy-to-code motors and sensors to develop essential 21st century skills.
You don’t need a designated makerspace to lead a maker project. Making can happen anywhere! Many schools are opening makerspaces in classrooms, libraries, and STEM labs, but you can make a makerspace anywhere with a simple collection of materials on a classroom shelf, in a cart, or even organized on a LEGO® baseplate.
Your students may have big ideas for their maker projects that extend beyond your LEGO® brick assortment. Makers often use mixed media to create rapid prototypes, so we recommend starting with a modest assortment of supplies, including:
Including mixed media allows students to unleash their imagination, and develop their creative design skills and understanding of aesthetics. You could also consider providing a ‘materials library’ of arts and crafts materials that you already have in your classroom.
Tape, glue, adhesives, and clay can damage LEGO bricks. We therefore recommend encouraging students to be creative when combining LEGO bricks and mixed media, for example by using rubber bands, pipe cleaners, wire, paper clips, and brass fasteners.
To help you deliver inspiring Maker projects and curriculum content, we have created a range of LEGO® Education Maker Lesson Plans for Preschool, Elementary and Middle School. You can also reuse many of the problem-solving activities and open projects in your existing LEGO® Education curriculum content, as their focus on the design process makes them the ideal inspiration for your Maker activities.
Of course, the inspiration doesn’t stop there. Are your students studying community? Why not design a new transportation system, building, or bridge? Does a character in a book they are reading face a challenge? Your students could design something to solve it! Studying Mars? Try designing a new colony, habitat, or exploration rover. You could even ask your students what they want to make. The opportunities are endless.
A Maker project is rich in learning experiences. It provides opportunities to explore out-of-the-box ideas. Students engage in real-world problem solving through the creation of rapid prototypes that show their ideas.
Maker projects are all about working through a design and creative problem-solving process. Cultivate a mindset that students will have opportunities to make mistakes and to try again. Reassure them that mistakes often lead to new discoveries. By encouraging your students to share their ideas and celebrate their successes, you will motivate them to create more and develop their Maker skills.
As a teacher, you assume the role of facilitator, helping students to think, learn how to learn, and be more flexible, adaptive, and imaginative. By responding to questions with questions, you will encourage your students to be resourceful when looking for answers to a problem.
Empathy and social emotional development is a natural part of Maker-centered learning. Students work as a community of makers, constantly sharing ideas, sharing materials, and giving and receiving feedback.
You and your students ultimately decide how to create your makerspace and LEGO Education can help support your vision. By encouraging playful learning and tinkering, our Maker lesson plans and other open-ended curriculum content help you get the most out of your makerspace, including:
It’s intuitive to create, build and rebuild with LEGO bricks, so there’s no barrier to getting hands-on with making for students of all abilities. Our Maker activities provide an inspiring, safe and supportive experience to start exploring, collaborating and mixing materials, helping every student become a maker.
Tinkering is hands on, “minds on” learning through doing. Tinkering is exploring the mechanics of how things work and making new discoveries. Tinkering develops the iteration mindset, encourages reverse engineering, and helps students learn that making can be about creating your own recipes. Tinkering and Playful Learning go hand in hand. Tinkering can be used as a first step in a Maker Project to give students opportunities to play with materials that they’ll be using in a project to learn their affordances and capabilities.
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