Primary schools turning to Lego to tap into engineering potential

Stock image.
Stock image.

LUCKY primary school students are getting the chance to play with lego and explore basic engineering concepts at the same time.

Young Engineers Australia’s Lego Engineering program allows kids to simultaneously indulge in their creative side while also gaining an early understanding of engineering fundamentals.

The program is currently offered at Rostrata Primary, Queen of Apostles School and Rossmoyne Senior High School (Saturdays), and Ranford Primary School also set to take part from term one onwards.

Young Engineers Perth principal Chee Wong said Lego was the perfect material for kids to use to explore early engineering concepts.

“Lego is a tool all kids already know, so we don’t have to pre-train them up to use the platform,” he said.

“Lots of kids may have already experienced the stuff we teach them, they just didn’t know how everything fit together conceptually and they don’t know how to explain it or articulate it.”

Mr Wong said the program allowed kids to express themselves in different ways to what they were usually able to in school.

“The feedback from teachers is ‘wow, little Johnny is normally not so great at traditional school, but he’s blitzing at this and finishing everything first before everyone else’,” he said.

“It levels the playing field because you don’t have to read and you don’t have to write, you’re expressing yourself in a totally different way.”

Mr Wong said introducing the concepts at a younger age meant they were more informed about Science, Technologoy, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related subjects by the time they entered secondary education.

“By the time kids leave primary school, a lot of them have either half or fully decided, whether it’s conscious or subconscious, that maths and science and engineering are not for them, without really being informed what those things really mean and this is a way to try and address that,” he said.