Rebuild the World, Brick by Brick
I’m so excited to introduce our newest STEAM and Robotics learning solution from LEGO Education: WeDo 2.0! We unboxed this beauty a few days ago and both Ellie and Beau (ages 9 and 6) haven’t been able to stop building and coding. I don’t know about y’all, but during these long days of virtual learning at home, we’re very much in need of plenty of hands-on play!
LEGO Education’s “Rebuild the World” campaign celebrates kids’ creative resilience and the power to make the world a little brighter. It inspires children to unleash their creativity and “rebuild their world” through hands-on, purposeful play, even during remote learning at home. LEGO Education’s mission is to inspire the builders of tomorrow, enabling every student to succeed through creativity, collaboration, and hands-on learning.
The LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 Core Set is perfect for elementary aged students, and includes intuitive block-based coding and standards-aligned lesson plans to make STEAM learning engaging and accessible. The projects challenge students to define problems, ask questions, and design their own solutions using LEGO Education bricks, sensors, and motors.
Well, Beau has pretty much been begging for motors and sensors ever since we watched LEGO Masters on FOX, so you can imagine his excitement when we sorted all the pieces in the set! He’s also a big fan of all sorts of simple machines, so he was thrilled that there are gears and wheels included too. LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 includes a divided tray with stickers to keep all 280 pieces organized and easy to find.
Ellie was just as excited to get in on the fun, so we got right to work installing and exploring the LEGO Education WeDo app. I’ve worked with multiple app-based learning solutions over the years, and I was SO pleased that this app is so intuitive and kid-friendly! The step-by-step building and coding instructions are very easy for even younger students to follow, and were perfect for them to take turns building.
The app includes a huge library of projects to choose from, and the kids opted to try “Milo the Science Rover” first. Each project begins with a story and problem-based challenge, both valuable components of the engineering design process. There are also adorable, high-interest videos that set the stage for the building challenge.
At this point, the kids took over the building process as they took turns with each step!
When they finished building Milo, they used the simple drag-and-drop block coding interface to code the robot to move forward.
As soon as they finished the first project, they were ready for more challenges! Here is a peek at just some of the projects included in the app. As a teacher, I was immediately drawn to the science themes in the guided projects and open-ended projects that align with many different Next Generation Science Standards. My wheels are already turning with ways to integrate the plants and pollinators challenge with my second graders and flood prevention challenge with third grade!
The Drop and Rescue project was more challenging for Beau, but he persevered and it was well-worth the effort! Kids never see anything as beyond repair and have a natural resilience and ability to make the world brighter. LEGO Education’s learning solutions teach kids that, even if something doesn’t work the first time, they can always rebuild and repair it, creating the next generation of learners and builders to tackle the world’s challenges.
For this challenge, he built a helicopter with pulley system, then coded it to rescue a panda bear from a forest fire.
If you can’t tell from this next picture, it was actually dark outside by this point and Beau was STILL building. He actually took this dump truck to bed with him that night. I truly think that the coding component adds a certain element of “magic” to builds by bringing them to life through lights, sounds, and movements. He was so proud to show us how it worked over and over.
Overall, I am SO pleased with LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 and I’m already researching grants so that I can get my hands on a class set for my K-2nd Grade GT students. LEGO Education’s WeDo helps students develop the cognitive, emotional, physical, social, and creative skills they need to rebuild the world.