School of ART News

Where Critical Thinking Meets Creative Expression

Pre-Engineering: Lego Robots & It’s Benefits to Students

by | Mar 31, 2017 | School of ART News

A toy company founded almost 84 years ago is responsible for inspiring many generations of students to pursue careers in math, science and engineering. This particular family owned toy company, the LEGO Group, was founded on principals of “good quality play” that enriches the lives of the children that play with the toys. Today, Lego bricks can not only be found strewn across living room floors, but in classrooms and universities across the globe. Principals of building, constructing, and programming are skills that can be developed through playing with Lego.

“Math and physics concepts are built into every Lego project,” says Tiffany Tseng, a graduate researcher in the MIT Media Lab Lifelong Kindergarten group. “Kids can build whatever’s in their imagination and, at the same time, develop spatial reasoning and learn about structural integrity, design, and a practical sense of geometry.”

Students who wish to go beyond the brick can participate in FIRST Lego League, where participants compete to accomplish themed “missions” on a playing field with robots that they design, build and program. Lead by adult coaches, participants “develop critical thinking and team-building skills, basic STEM applications, and even presentation skills, as they must present their solutions with a dash of creativity to judges.”

Students who participate are 2x more likely to major in science or engineering once in higher education. Girls who participate are 33% more likely to go onto engineering as a major. Over 95% of participants saw an increase in improved problem solving skills and increase in time management skills. 93% of participants gained increased conflict resolution skills and 76% saw strengthened communication skills.

School of Art takes full advantage of the benefits to designing, building, and programming the Lego Mindstorms® robot. During our Lego robotics course, students learn core principals of Computer Engineering (coding and programming) and Civil/Mechanical Engineering (designing and building). All students take turns participating in the different areas of Lego robotics while in a non competitive environment. Students or teams are then encouraged to participate in FIRST Lego League. Check out the non competition side of Lego Robotics with our regular scheduled classes or variety of summer camps!