Young Engineers LEGO for STEM Education

Young Engineers

Young Engineers offers educational LEGO® based workshops and school clubs to support nursery and primary school aged children to develop their STEM understanding and awareness.

Our events can range from 90 minutes to a full day sessions. Children build moving LEGO® models that demonstrate STEM concepts. We create a fun, exciting and inspirational environment that supports active learning with planned and purposeful play and hands-on experiences. Our children learn by doing, becoming successful learners by using their imagination to develop their models. We help them to become effective contributors by creating opportunities for teamwork and communication, helping them to work together to develop their understanding of their machine.

Workshops are aligned to the Curriculum for Excellence with a focus on Science, Technology, Literacy and Maths based Experiences & Outcomes. We include elements of problem solving, critical thinking, leadership and entrepreneurship to ensure we support CfE skills for learning life and work. Details of alignment to Experiences & Outcomes as well as Maths and Literacy Benchmarks are available for each workshop.

With over 40 models available we can tailor workshops to suit learning themes within the school for example renewable energy, transportation and many more.

The following provide single examples of a STEM workshop for younger children and a Skills for Learning Life and Work for older children.

Expected outcomes

Example STEM Workshop (Primary 2 & 3)

We offer a Forces & Magnetism workshop lasting 90 minutes. This workshop is intended to support SCN 0-07a, SCN1-07a and SCN 1-08a specifically with experiences and outcomes from technology, expressive arts, and literacy also addressed.

Phase 2 of the workshop is used to explore different ways of generating a push/pull force. Each child builds a LEGO car. Instructions are provided, more able children can use their imagination and building skills to augment the basic design. Once built we move onto different experiments with the cars. We have ramps and slopes and the children use these to practice ‘driving’ their car by pushing or pulling it. We then add balloons of different sizes which are attached to the car and generate the push force. Opportunities exist to measure the distance travelled by the cars under different conditions which can then be used in followup work to produce simple tables and graphs. Worksheets are again provided for to help children consolidate their learning.The workshop is divided into 2 phases, in the first phase children work in groups of 3 or 4 and move around different stations where they undertake experiments and investigations with magnets. These include LEGO mazes where the cars are moved using a magnet and push/pull games where the children ‘race’ to move different materials across a surface using magnets. We include simple worksheets where children note their observations. We then have a short discussion to let the children talk about what happened with the goal of understanding push and pull and an awareness of why the different sides/ends of magnets behave in a different way.

Example Skills for Learning, Life & Work Event (Primary 6/7)

This event is typically run over 2 or 3 sessions of 90 to 120 minutes each.

Children work in groups of 3 to 5 depending on class size and ability.

The goal of the multi-session event is to simulate a sales pitch, where children have to build a ‘product’, optimise its design and then give a presentation to the ‘customer’ explaining how their product works, how they built it and how it compares to a set of requirements.

The event would can be based around several models, one example is a conveyor belt. This model provides several opportunities to optimise and modify the design, and thus allows each team of students to consider different approaches. The 3 sessions will be used as follows:

  • Session 1: Introduction to the LEGO kits and the model, presentation of the plan for the sessions, team selections, trial building
  • Session 2: Main building phase
  • Session 3: Development of sales pitch, costing and presentation

Throughout the event the children are expected to plan their work and allocate tasks to specific people to help develop planning and scheduling skills. We explore the idea of leadership and management and ask the children to think about what characteristics are needed for each role. When building the model they will need to tradeoff performance and cost and to explain why they made their design decisions. At the end of each session we have a plenary where we discuss the activities and allow the children to self assess and provide feedback. The event can be interlinked with use of presentation and spreadsheet software or kept completely offline.

To book this activity, please contact:
Jenni Doonan
07731657775
edinburgh@young-engineers.co.uk
http://www.edinburgh.young-engineers.co.uk/

46 Whitburn Rd
EH48 2RA Bathgate
Scotland

The STEM Directory is provided as a service to support you in finding enrichment opportunities. The activities are offered by external providers and are not endorsed by STEM Learning. We are not responsible for their content or delivery.

Grants for school

The Royal Institution runs two enrichment and enhancement grant schemes. Grants of up to £500 are available to UK-registered state schools to host a STEM activity selected from the STEM Directory.

There are a number of other organisations that offer grants to schools.

Find out more

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