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Explore, Create And Collaborate During STEM Lessons

Jessica Clifton from LEGO Education explores how primary school is the ideal time to engage children with STEM subjects...

  • Explore, Create And Collaborate During STEM Lessons

Computer programmers, chemist, maths teacher, robotics engineer – all these jobs can be found within science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) professions. And the career path into such sectors begins during childhood.

Primary pupils are naturally inquisitive and enjoy exploring; STEM subjects naturally lend themselves to this type of discovery. It goes without saying that these subjects – when taught using a hands-on, minds-in approach – are certainly going to engage pupils and inspire their curious minds.

The UK’s future economic success relies on a highly-skilled, versatile and STEM-savvy workforce, yet at present, it’s widely reported that there’s a skills shortage in the sector. It’s therefore more crucial now than ever that we give primary school pupils the opportunity to explore STEM subjects and understand the limitless possibilities that they can offer.

Exploring their potential

Kinaesthetic learning has often been found to be more effective at enabling pupils to process and absorb information than reading a textbook or jotting down notes from a blackboard. This type of learning is especially helpful in STEM subjects, as their underlying concepts often difficult to initially grasp.

So why not have pupils get hands-on and design a device that can be programmed to move objects, or create sound when it gets close to a wall?

LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0 is an innovative practical science and computing solution that gives primary pupils the opportunity to get hands-on with science and computing. For example, one of the open-ended projects tasks pupils to think about machines and how they operate, and then create a prototype of a device that can move materials safely.

Give pupils the chance to explore and place learning in their hands. The possibilities are endless, and they’ll develop an understanding of the real-life implications of STEM subjects – all while having fun!

Resilience and success

Resilience is a key attribute required in both the workplace and the classroom. With later successes often preceded by failures and frustrations, it’s important to foster resilience among pupils.

An experiment might call for several attempts before the correct results are achieved, for example. Supporting children through these setbacks and reassuring them to try again will build their resilience, while helping them to develop their own strategies to overcome them.

All WeDo 2.0 projects are progressive; there is never a ‘right’ answer. Pupils will engage with the key phases of exploration, creation and sharing during tasks, giving them the opportunity to work together and ‘try and try again’ until they devise an effective solution. Pupils can also record their progress using the WeDo 2.0 Documentation tool, enabling them to reflect on any problems they encounter and then work together towards a successful outcome.

An engaged classroom

It’s important that both the pupils and teacher feel inspired by STEM. However, for teachers, finding resources – and the training to go with it - and content aligned to the curriculum can be difficult.

With WeDo 2.0, teachers can attend free teacher workshops and download the WeDo 2.0 software and curriculum content for free, providing hours of teaching material that enables them to deliver exciting and engaging learning opportunities.

An engaged STEM classroom will encourage curiosity and confidence while generating discussion – all of which can be achieved through kinaesthetic learning. This type of learning gives pupils the chance to explore their potential and develop important life skills, such as teamwork and problem-solving, which are vital for success in a STEM workplace.

With the UK’s STEM sector in need of talented, skilled professionals, it could be the pupils of today that are able to solve the problems of tomorrow, We need to give them the chance to develop a passion for STEM and opportunities to pursue the type of career paths that can lead to them becoming a valued part of our future STEM workforce.

To find out more about LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0 resource and download its free software and curriculum content, visit www.legoeducation.co.uk

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