Play well while studying

24 Jan 2020
Do you know what LEGO means? No? Then it is time for a short lesson in Danish. In Denmark, the birthplace of LEGO, the name of the company means “play well”. It is derived from the two Danish words leg (play) and godt (good). And how do we study while playing well? Let’s see in the following couple of paragraphs.

With eyes wide open your child opens his or her first LEGO set. Inside the box however, your heir doesn’t simply see building bricks. There is a whole new world inside, comprised of creativity and planning. This way your child doesn’t just receive a new toy. He or she is a God in an own universe, where with the help of LEGO every creation is possible. At our school we see the things in a similar manner. And this was the reason to include this Danish system in our curriculum for the Design & Technology classes.

Some of you, reading this article, are probably engineers and architects. As such, you are familiar with the process of designing and building a structure. Firstly, you need a team. Afterwards comes the planning phase. Then the actual building begins. In the Design & Technology classes we follow the exact same principles and workload is distributed among several groups.

Just like with us the adults, every team in school has its purpose. Some are dedicated to planning and solve actual problems. How many hours will we need to finish our project? How to optimally plan the materials and the time frame? Has the lunch break already come?

Another team is dedicated to creativity and design. There improvements of the stock look of the product are considered along with the means of achieving it. So, can we make it more beautiful and eye catching? How?

After the planning phase, the most fun part comes: the actual building. There in front of the caring eyes of their teacher, Mr. Mike Doyle, the magic happens: children from all over the world start working as a single unit and create something together as a team. At first, the students start with simple elements. On a flat surface they set a couple of bricks with some open space in the middle. Afterwards a couple of animals start grazing around. And how does the tractor reach the field? Via the road,which is also build from LEGO. And step by step a farm appears in the classroom. If the farmer needs to bring his production to the city, which is built from LEGO, he can totally do so. There, the good farmer will discover street and traffic lights. They were programmed by the pupils who built the city and the farm, so our kids can get some basing programming skills and knowledge about electric circuits. The students in our upper grades work more and more with programming and with more sophisticated electric circuits. The LEGO classes gradually evolve in Robotics ones.

This way at BSS we don’t just play well. We train the future engineers, designers and programmers. We do it with modern technologies and methodologies. We teach while our pupils think they are simply playing well.  

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