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Explore, Create And Collaborate During STEM Lessons

Jessica Clifton from LEGO Education explains why primary school is the crucial time to engage children with STEM and how teachers can motivate children to engage and attain during these lessons

  • Explore, Create And Collaborate During STEM Lessons

Computer programmers, chemists, maths teachers, robotics engineers – these jobs all have one thing in common: they’re all STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) professions. Yet, the path to embarking on a career in this sector doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it often begins during childhood.

Primary pupils are naturally inquisitive and enjoy exploring; STEM subjects naturally lend themselves to this type of discovery. Therefore, 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 STEM workforce (UK Commission for Employment and Skills), yet at present, it’s widely reported that there’s a skills shortage in the sector. So, it’s now more crucial than ever that we give primary school pupils the opportunity to explore STEM subjects and understand the limitless possibilities that this sector can offer.

Exploring their potential

Kinaesthetic learning has been proven to be far 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, as it’s often difficult to grasp due to the practical nature of the subject.

So, why not have pupils get hands-on and design a device that can be programmed to move objects, or create sound when it’s 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 skill required in the workplace and the classroom. As success is often preceded by failure and frustration, it’s important to foster resilience among pupils.

During an experiment, for example, it could take several attempts before the correct results are achieved. Therefore, 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 and there is never a “right” answer. During tasks, exploration, creation and sharing are key phases that pupils engage with, 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 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 exudes curiosity, encourages confidence and generates discussion and can be best achieved through kinaesthetic learning. This type of learning also gives pupils the chance to explore their potential and develop important life skills, such as confidence, teamwork, and problem-solving – all crucial skills for the STEM workplace too.

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 and, quite possibly, set off down the path to 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 legoeducation.co.uk.

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