Inspiring Tomorrow’s Leaders in STEM with LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 and LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0
As state learning standards evolve to keep pace with the almost daily advances in technology, and the changing skillsets required for students to succeed in the 21st century, school systems face the difficult task of overhauling their curriculums. Allison Pilley, Curriculum Director for Springfield, Missouri’s Public Schools, has turned to LEGO® Education to help keep learning engaging, relevant and personal for every learner.
With over 35 elementary buildings, 10 middle schools, 5 high schools and 2 alternative centers it’s not an easy job, but LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0 and LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 are allowing for easy integration of content into single units, and project based learning opportunities based around those new standards. Allison and her team were even able to plan culminating projects and map the learning needed to meet academic goals. Using LEGO Education solutions also helped them to fill curriculum gaps in STEM concepts like coding.
Like many school systems Springfield has a strong focus on STEM learning. In grades 4 and 5 students take part in a Bot Builder class that utilizes EV3 and WeDo 2.0. “It is two weeks of their curriculum in a four week class,” says Pilley who is hoping to expand their use of WeDo 2.0 across more classes. “LEGO Education has created a nice guided practice in the WeDo curriculum that leads teachers and kids through the program to learn some of those concepts and sparks important questions. “I’m excited that it’s bringing coding in to the classroom,” she says.
"We really wanted to expose our kids to STEM fields and let them know what the opportunities are. So much of it is making sure that they are experiencing a lot of different things in way that allows them to find their passion and what they really love to learn about.”
Curriculum Director for Springfield, Missouri’s Public Schools
EV3 plays a key role at the middle school level in Springfield as well. Robot Revolution is a summer class that integrates coding and robotics. It was so successful that they piloted a new spring program that incorporates a project-based learning unit for math and science. Students were excited to learn that they were capable of programming a robot and that coding could lead to a career! “We really wanted to expose our kids to STEM fields and let them know what the opportunities are. So much of it is making sure that they are experiencing a lot of different things in way that allows them to find their passion and what they really love to learn about.”
LEGO Education Solutions are providing a foundation of the kind of hands-on playful learning that keeps STEM concepts engaging, relevant, and personal for students, and that’s key for the faculty and staff that are working with them every day. Pilley says that playful learning makes the difference, “…Before they watched a video of an earthquake and now they get to simulate one themselves. It’s just fun, and that’s what we’re looking for.”