LEGO STEM activities can sincerely improve a child's relationship with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. By incorporating the familiar, children are able to master topics that might be difficult to understand with a textbook alone.
There has been much emphasis on the importance of STEM education. Technical and scientific skills are integral to many workforces and early exposure to basic themes and ideas encompassed by the term can be crucial.
An additional focus has been put on a gender imbalance in the industries promoting STEM, which is why we need to expose everyone to basic theory and engage them with complementing practical tasks.
Comedian Katy Brand's short video explains the importance of a gender balance within STEM industries, the benefits of a women's perspective, as well as the issues women face trying to penetrate such a male-dominated field.
Involving all children with STEM education and play activities will enable everyone impassioned to reap the following benefits outlined by Club SciKidz:
- STEM education builds and encourages problem solving skills. In STEM activities, students learn how to analyse problems and then work to correct and overcome them.
- STEM education instils creativity. In our world of innovation, creativity is the fuel for new technologies and ideas. Creativity allows students to see problems in new ways and to think outside of the box.
- STEM education gives kids the edge in flourishing careers. Having experiences in elementary school where students can have hands-on opportunity with STEM activities, they will gain important knowledge and skills. More and more careers require advanced mathematical and scientific knowledge and ability. Becoming introduced to science and math at an early age will give students an advantage.
- STEM education is an authentic learning experience that integrates four major content areas and brings real-world application to those areas. So much in our world is interconnected. Students need the opportunity to collaborate and apply all of their skill and knowledge to solve a problem or improve an idea.
And why wouldn't we want to give all children the opportunity to access those skills, should they be intrigued.
Providing creative ways to capture children's imaginations can be key to sparking a further interest in and talent for STEM learning and, later, work.
Thrive's Pinterest has a wealth of activities and ideas for the home and classroom. We've been focusing on LEGO STEM activities recently; here is a countdown of our five favourites for you to try. Covering a range of ages, try one of the activities below and let us know how you get on - remember to supervise younger children when encountering small bricks.
The Thrive Pinterest LEGO STEM activities top 5:
The fidget cube
Still a little bit obsessed with fidget spinners? Why not go a step further and try making the LEGO fidget cube. This guide will take you through the assembly process step-by-step and keep you busy for hours.
The adventure zip wire
Send your LEGO characters on a wild ride with the adventure zip wire challenge. It's up to you how long you want to make your ride last. Experiment with different shaped vessels and see how many LEGO figures you can get flying through the air.
Click here for a step-by-step guide.
The coded maze challenge
Do you know any eager little coders? Becoming an increasingly more desirable skill in tech roles, see if you can inspire any future programmers.
Click here to learn about the coded maze and how to ease children into the challenge.
The DIY marble run
With plenty of individual elements bringing this STEM challenge together, spend a couple of hours engineering your dream marble run. From ramps to spinners, how intricate can you make yours.
Click here to get started.
The shadow theatre show
This is such an adorably creative idea we had to put it at number one! Use DUPLO or LEGO to engineer your own shadow theatre. As well as the challenge of building the theatre, younger children can also learn about casting shadows and explore their different shapes and sizes.
Additionally, the mini-theatre space allows children of any age to orchestrate their own performances. Working on science, engineering, and story-telling talents, this is a brilliant construction project which incorporates a platter of skills.
Follow this link to watch a short video on this STEM challenge.