The newly completed LEGO Education Innovation Studio (LEIS) has been officially opened on DCU’s St Patrick’s Campus.
The studio will act as a dedicated interactive learning hub to help DCU student teachers and Irish schools develop innovative and creative approaches to teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) subjects in the classroom.
Professor Deirdre Butler, head of Digital Learning at DCU’s Institute of Education met Ross Maguire the head of STEM solutions and Learnit two years ago, at the science festival in Dublin Castle. It was here that Ross’ initial interest sparked in the work Deirdre had done to date with her students.
The conversation between the two parties eventually led to the construction of the LEGO Education Innovation Studio, which is now located in Block F of St. Patrick’s Campus.
At present the studio caters to the science, technology, engineering and math’s faculties, however, Deirdre hopes to spread this new form of learning into the arts.
“I was just talking to Regina Murphy, head of the School of Language, Arts and Movement and we were talking about how we could bring the initiative into the arts,” she said.
Although it has still to reach the arts faculties this new method of teaching is slowly beginning to integrate across different teaching programmes in St. Patrick’s College.
“It’s currently embedded in some of our minor and major programmes,” said Deirdre.
As part of engineering week this week the studio will host a professional development session workshop on March 9th for two hours, the aim of this is to teach primary school teachers how to use the LEGO reading materials to promote STEM in a classroom environment.
Deirdre revealed that pending a conversation with Ross from STEM solutions “they hope to run summer camps for children that will be based in the innovations studio.”
The camp intends to use ‘STEM focused’ learning techniques, according to Deirdre. Alongside summer camps Deirdre would like to run workshops for DCU community members in the studio, “as part of the DCU’s integration initiative we hope to run workshops where parents can come in with their children and avail of the studio,” she said.