STEM Activities for Legos
How to Use Legos in STEM Class
I love using legos for STEM building projects! They are easy to work with, keep clean, and can be reused. If you were wondering how to use legos or generic building bricks in a more intentional way, I have the resource you are looking for!
Introducing STEM Mats
What are STEM mats? I created a set of reusable mats that have design constraints and criteria as part of the building task. Students will use a paper clip and pencil to spin their challenge! For the above example, students are tasked with creating a tower. The shape of the base is defined by the STEM mat as well as the minimum height. Because there are at least 2 criteria per challenge, there are many combinations of tasks to be built! How students will go about creating their prototype will change depending on the mat and the constraints.
Where are the building instructions?
I have received this question before on my STEM mats, and it’s also been suggested to me that building instructions would make this resource better. However, these tasks are not like a lego building set you would purchase at your local toy shop. Students must come up with a plan of their own. They may or not be successful in meeting the criteria. What is important is that they work toward a solution. The attempt is the important part of this task! If they don’t get it right the first time, they can make modifications and try again.
Why should you try STEM Mats?
STEM mats are easy to set up (provided you have building bricks!). You don’t need specific sizes or styles of bricks – students must use whichever bricks you have available. When they are finished, they will disassemble their creation.These tasks keep students engaged for a good amount of time! They can be used in STEM class, for indoor recess, or during a STEM family night. While some tasks will be simpler than others, all will require planning time, building time, modification time, and clean up!Most of the STEM mats require students to measure their prototype! That means they will get practice using measurement tools and other hands-on math skills. You will also see students get more and more creative as they get used to using the mats.Once students have used STEM mats once, you can set up a station of them and students can work independently.
Can I try out STEM Mats?
Yes! I created a separate post about STEM mats for building bricks over at STEM Activities for Kids, and you can download a sample to try them out.