The Lego Group has come a long way since its foundation in Denmark in the 1930s. Still a family-run business, it has been passed through four generations from Ole Kirk Kristiansen, a carpenter who started it all off by creating wooden toys.
Over the past 90 years, it’s grown to become a giant of the industry – one that turned a billion-pound profit in 2020. But its products are about so much more than being fun playthings for children.
From the humble beginnings of the rudimentary plastic brick, first launched in 1949, the company’s offering has developed significantly in the past 70 years. We’re now at the point where Lego kits and sets are helping to shape the education of our next generation.
In the mid-1980s, a pioneering partnership with the world-famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology was formed, with the aim of “adding intelligence and behavior into Lego play”. That scheme has certainly proved a success – fast forward to the present day and Lego Education is playing a major role in our schools.
So, what is it and what are the major benefits that it brings to the table?
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What is Lego Education?
A separate arm of the Lego brand, it provides kits and hardware to introduce school children to the likes of coding and robotics. All of this is designed to increase exposure to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) learning.
What benefits does Lego Education bring to the classroom?
- Children learn skills that they may not otherwise be exposed to, such as coding with the SPIKE Prime Set. These skills could help to shape their future careers in any of the STEAM industries or beyond.
- Introducing different, more practical elements to lessons will help students engage in their education and take more of an interest when compared to other subjects that may not capture their attention.
- The use of Lego robotics kits helps to unlock the students’ creative side, offering them the chance to build something from scratch based on their own vision and imagination.
- It promotes collaborative learning. By working on projects together, children will develop their communication and teamwork skills, combining with their classmates to tackle the task set out in front of them.
- Learning in this manner helps to build confidence, as the students can take pride in having built something from nothing – whether that be via consulting a set of instructions or by using their own initiative.
- Robotics and coding can also have a calming effect on children who are hyperactive or those who suffer from anxiety disorders.