Confidence is key in STEAM learning - Education Matters Magazine

Confidence is key in STEAM learning

Lifelong learning starts with confidence and hands-on lessons support student success, according to the results of a recent global survey commissioned by LEGO Education which aims to provide insight on how children are learning in the 21st century.

The Confidence in Learning Poll, fielded by Harris Insights & Analytics, was conducted online from 6 to 28 February 2019, with findings released in early April. A total of 5002 students, 5001 parents and 1152 teachers from around the world took part in the research.

Each of the parties agreed that hands-on learning was highly beneficial to learning; with 99 per cent of teachers stating that they believe hands-on learning builds student confidence, 89 per cent of students saying hands-on learning helps them remember topics longer, and 93 per cent of parents saying they believe hands-on learning helps children retain knowledge for the future.

In addition, more than half of students also said that hands-on learning made them more confident in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). Students who are confident in learning STEAM subjects are two times more likely to say they are confident at school. However, less than one fifth of students surveyed say they are “very confident” in learning STEAM subjects.

Modern Teaching Aids, thought leaders in the digital technology space agree that the best way to build confidence in STEAM is to enable students to work on a hands-on project with others.

Understanding the important role hands-on learning plays in the modern classroom, LEGO Education has developed SPIKE Prime, the newest product to join its STEAM learning portfolio.

“The Confidence Poll data shows that most students say if they failed at something once, they don’t want to try again. With SPIKE Prime and the lessons featured in the SPIKE app, these children will be inspired to experiment with different solutions, try new things and ultimately become more confident learners. And for teachers, time is the ultimate barrier.”

LEGO Education produces hands-on, cross-curricular STEAM solutions for early learning, primary and secondary education, competitions and after-school programs.

Designed as a learning tool for students in Years 5-8, LEGO Education’s SPIKE Prime combines colourful LEGO building elements, easy-to-use hardware and intuitive drag-and-drop coding language based on the Scratch Coding Platform.

Through engaging students in playful learning, SPIKE Prime was specifically designed to encourage students to think critically and solve complex problems, regardless of their learning level.

From easy-entry projects to limitless creative design possibilities, SPIKE Prime uses fun ways to assist students to learn the essential STEAM and 21st century skills needed to become the innovative minds of tomorrow.

SPIKE Prime offers four unit plans, each with a specific theme and focus. All units are designed to develop critical thinking skills through complex, engaging and personally relevant STEAM challenges. Each unit focuses on a specific STEAM strand, whether this is engineering, technology, mathematics or competitions. It is powered by the SPIKE app and includes lessons that are designed to be completed within a 45-minute class. This also includes teacher support, introduction videos, links to curriculum standards, hints, extension ideas, assessment tools and technical support to help create confident teachers from the moment they open the box.

Each SPIKE Prime set has 523 pieces which can be used to build many different creations including corresponding STEAM lesson plans that were created by and for educators to help them bring more hands-on STEAM learning into their curriculum and get students more engaged and excited about STEAM subjects.

LEGO Education and the LEGO Group have also created 11 new innovative elements, which have been debuted with SPIKE Prime. These new elements include an innovative integrator brick, which allows for building together with both the LEGO Technic and the LEGO system platforms, further expanding systematic creativity and the building possibilities.

As well as bringing STEAM creativity and engagement into the classroom, SPIKE Prime also brings this into robotics clubs, coding programs and maker spaces.

The SPIKE Prime Expansion set in combination with the Competition Ready Unit – one of the four units included in the software, will prepare both teachers and students for robotics competitions. It can help empower students and teachers who are new to robotics and in need of more formalised training.

SPIKE Prime will be available to pre-order from Modern Teaching Aids from 4 June 2019.

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