Class teaches problem solving with Legos
Teacher Jan Powers listens as third graders Logan Blakeslee, center and Jonathan Cotsiomitis work on their robotic birds that have heads that spin around. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 13, 2012 6:04AM
Evan Chung built a drumming monkey in class.
Chung used Legos and a Lego Education Kit to complete the project during the WeDo summer school class at Spencer Loomis Elementary School in Hawthorn Woods, part of Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95’s summer school program.
Students enrolled in Cheryl Eastham’s class used Legos and a programming software to make their creations move.
“They use math, science and technology,” Eastham said. “I think anytime they’re doing problem solving, it’s going to (benefit) them.”
One project students were tasked with is building a moveable zoo animal, creating the program to make it move and then building it a habitat.
Chung, who will be a third-grader at May Whitney Elementary School in the fall, chose to build a drumming monkey.
“It’s cool because you can change the beat,” he said. “I learned that Legos are really cool, even if you’re just playing.”
As part of the class, Chung, who has been playing with Legos since he was two-years-old, liked that he could use the Legos kit to make different things and change the program to make the creation do different actions. He said learning how to use the programming software on the computer also helped him get more practice with computers.
Maddie Conrad, who will be a third-grader at May Whitney Elementary School in the fall, spent her morning trying to figure out why her lion’s head kept falling off.
“I like building things,” she said. “You can make anything out of Legos.”
Eventually, she and her partner were able to get the program right, keep the lion’s head on straight and get it to stand up.
Eastham said one of the things the class provides for is for students to learn from each other.
“One of the neat things in this class is to learn from each other,” she said. “We encourage them to do that, go from one table to another.”