HPU hosts LEGO Day event

Jun. 23, 2013 @ 05:46 PM

School is out but learning never ceases for students at LEGO Day at High Point University.
Shirley Disseler, assistant professor of elementary and middle grades education at HPU, held the second LEGO Day on Saturday with her graduate students leading students in kindergarten through sixth grade in LEGO activities.
Children use LEGOs as a science, technology, engineering and math skills developer as well as language arts and creativity.
Disseler, who also sits on the advisory board for LEGO, said LEGO learning is essential for today’s student.
“It’s the real world application of science and math,” Disseler said.
Kids were grouped into several rooms where graduate students led classes on how teachers in a LEGO STEM class teach students.
Maribeth Harris, one of Disseler’s students, led the Story Starters classroom.
“They create a scene from a story that I’ve read,” she said. “It helps with literacy skills and developing ideas.”
In the Futuristic Free Build room, Katie Etheridge and Meredith France led students on using their creativity to build a city of the future.
“They can build their vision of what the future city would look like,” Etheridge said. “The groups build on each other’s ideas.”
For older children, there were more advanced kits like the WeDo Extension, where Kelsey Clougherty and Katie Hadley helped kids build a carnival.
“It uses higher order thinking and build more complex things, like a ferris wheel,” Clougherty said. “It keeps them so involved and connects them to the curriculum.”
Disseler said that learning with LEGOs fits right in with the district’s move toward Common Core standards.
“It used to be that you had 45 minutes of math, then 45 minutes of science and 45 minutes of language arts,” Disseler said. “With this, it is more integrative, which is so important to make kids globally competitive.”