New visionary Studio at DCU Institute of Education will help student teachers and schools develop creative approaches to teaching STEM subjects.
Dublin City University (DCU) is partnering with Lego® Education to create this new learning Studio with the aim of helping student teachers develop inventive styles that can be replicated in schools throughout the country, igniting a passion for STEM subjects from early childhood education right through to third level. Student teachers and schools across the country will welcome the creation of an innovative and radical interactive learning hub at DCU’s new Institute of Education at St Patrick’s Campus Drumcondra, with the focus on creative approaches to teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) subjects in the classroom.
Professor Brian MacCraith, President of DCU and Chair of the STEM Education Working Group said:
“This unique collaboration with Lego® Education can play a key role in transforming the future of STEM learning in Ireland, helping future generations to develop a sense of wonder about the subjects that allow us to understand, measure, design and advance our physical world.”
Launch of Innovation Studio
Speaking at the launch of Lego® Education Innovation Studio (LEIS), Gary Jones, Area Manager Central Europe/Benelux/IRL, Lego® Education Europe said:
“It has been very refreshing working with St. Patrick’s and our partner for Ireland “STEM Solutions”, who want change, seeing how quickly they have put things in place, especially getting full cross-faculty buy-in to make these changes right across the educational landscape.
“Lego® Education has worked hard to develop a range of teaching tools that offer solutions that meet 21st Century classroom needs.
“This “smart partnership” will offer a range of opportunities to teachers and therefore to children not only in Ireland but, as the new Institute of Education has decided to drive the European LEIS network, throughout Europe too.
“To use a cliché, ‘watch this space’.”
The new Studio will have the capacity to develop research projects through linkages with existing DCU research centres such as the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Teaching and Learning (CASTEL), and to explore cross-faculty research possibilities with the Faculty of Engineering & Computing.
European Teacher Education Network
Internationally the Lego Education Innovation Studio at DCU will lead a European teacher education network to develop new teaching methods across Europe and exchange ideas and best practice. The network will include existing partners from Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.
St Patrick’s College Drumcondra has a long history of using Lego® materials for teaching and learning, particularly through its Empowering Minds community. Developed by Dr Deirdre Butler, this programme has helped teachers and children from over 60 schools explore concepts of design, sensing and control by building their own Lego® models.
The new initiative commenced with a three-day workshop in mid-January 2016, led by Global Master Trainer Rob Widger from Lego®’s Education Academy, to upskill key Institute of Education staff in the areas of Digital Learning, Maths, Science, Literacy and Early Childhood as well as IT services. Ongoing support will be provided by Ross Maguire of IT & Stem Solutions, an official partner of Lego® Education.
Outreach activities of the Lego® Education Innovation Studio will include:
- A range of continuing professional development for teachers;
- Opportunities for teachers to bring their classes to use the resources in-studio;
- Open days and evenings for schools and local community groups;
- Hosting of the first Lego and Junior Lego Leagues.