Inspirational Activity: Developing learner skills such as self-efficacy, collaboration, confidence, persistence, and attention through play and collaboration

Creative Builder One

Use the LEGO® DUPLO® Creative Builder Set to develop important learner skills such as self-efficacy and persistence.

Encourage two children to work together. One child is the “builder” and one is the “brick finder.” The builder picks a card, which the brick finder does not look at. Looking at the card, the builder describes the model, one brick at a time, so that the brick finder can pick out the brick that matches the description and hand it to the builder. When the build is complete, ask the children to switch roles.

Children will be practicing collaboration, speaking and listening, problem solving, and attention to detail in this engaging activity! Use the playground to develop important learner skills such as collaboration and confidence.

Read a story about going to school, perhaps one about someone’s first day at school! Then, encourage children to talk about the story and going to school. Ask children to build and role-play a scene on the playground; it can be a scene from the story or one they create.

Children will be role-playing, exploring the world, and building confidence in their social skills. For ages 2-5.

Creative Builder Two

Inspirational Activity: Cultivating an area of whole-child development, cognitive development, through collaboration

Cafe Plus one

Use the LEGO® DUPLO® Café+ Set to develop cognitive skills in a collaborative environment. Encourage children to work together to build four or five food items. They may use the recipe cards or build them from their imaginations. Then, ask children to take turns being a customer and a waiter. The customer orders two items from the menu and checks how much each item costs to decide how much to pay the waiter altogether.

Children will be practicing early math skills such as simple addition and problem solving while also developing important collaboration skills. For ages 2-5.

Cafe Plus two

Inspirational Activity: Fostering an area of whole-child development, creative development, through collaboration


Use the LEGO® DUPLO® XL Brick Set to develop creativity skills such as self-expression through a collaborative activity. Encourage children to work together to plan and build a dream world consisting of any places, vehicles, and people they can imagine.

Ask them to take turns listening to each other’s ideas and then agree on one idea or build a world that incorporates all of them. When they are finished building, prompt role-play by asking them what roles are needed in this dream world and who will fill them.

Children will be not only developing creative-thinking skills but also practicing skills such as shape and color recognition and sorting and categorizing as they work together. For ages 2-5.



All aboard for the LEGO Education Math Train for Preschool!

Math Train is an exciting and imaginative LEGO® Education Preschool way for preschoolers to work intuitively with early math while having heaps of fun. Together they will enjoy exploring numeracy and quantities as they use the crane to load and unload bricks onto the brightly colored train. The figures and engaging cargo and accessories encourage them to role play various functions and scenarios around the railway.


Key Learning Values:

  • Simple addition and subtraction
  • Problem solving
  • Role play

But you may ask yourself, why LEGO® DUPLO® bricks?  LEGO® DUPLO® bricks are just the right size for preschool learners. These high-quality, timeless bricks help boost fine-motor skill development and create an ideal system for preschool learning.

The following topics can be taught:

  • Early Science
  • Early Math
  • Early Literacy
  • Playful Learning
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Social and Emotional Development


The Math Train set is rated for ages 2-5 and includes 167 LEGO DUPLO elements. The set is priced at $99.95 USD.

Apply Now! 2015 LEGO Education Ambassador Program (LEAP)

Are you interested in joining a group of educators who are passionate about the LEGO Education brand? The LEGO Education Ambassador Program (LEAP) consists of a group of educators across many different grade levels who actively use LEGO Education in their classrooms, or school districts, and are wanting to further innovate the use of LEGO Education in the classroom. LEGO Education is interested in finding teachers who are thought leaders and could be considered experts in hands-on education amongst their peers. We are also looking for teachers who are willing to think outside-of-the-teaching-box.


The LEGO Education Ambassador Program offers many benefits that are unique to the Ambassadors within the program, such as a strong voice for LEGO Education customers, opportunity to build connections with other LEGO Education users around the United States and Canada, and exclusive LEGO Education Ambassador merchandise. The LEGO Education Ambassador Program also offers multiple opportunities including participation in product development feedback, participation in speaking events at local and national educational conferences, and the opportunity to serve as a lead educator using LEGO Education solutions through media opportunities and the LEGO Education Online Community.

LEAP 2015

The application for the LEGO Education Ambassador Program can be found at the following link ( The deadline is January 30, 2015 at 5:00PM CT for residents of the U.S. and Canada.  Once your application has been reviewed and approved by LEGO Education, you will be contacted to setup a time with the LEAP Coordinator for a one-on-one interview (no more than 15 minutes) and instructions to create a short, amateur video of an example of how you educate children with LEGO Education in your classroom (if you work primarily in the classroom).

School Library Journal and LEGO® Education Announce the Winner of the ‘Build Something Bold’ Library Design Award

Today, School Library Journal (SLJ) and LEGO Education announced the winner and runners-up for the inaugural ‘Build Something Bold’ Library Design Award.

The 2014 winner is Walnut Grove Elementary School library, in Madison County, Alabama. Led by librarian Holly Whitt, Walnut Grove’s library features a “digital diner,” with tabletop “jukeboxes” of technology, including tablets and an afterschool computer science program involving Arduino and LEGO Education robotics kits. Whitt will transform another part of the 2,500-square-foot library into a makerspace, which serves as a gathering point for tools, projects, mentors and expertise to enable anyone to make.

Despite being the highest poverty school in this rural district, Walnut Grove students have consistently led the district with the highest scores on state tests. The Walnut Grove school library, according to the application, “is an example of building a bold library through transforming physical spaces and creating authentic, diverse experiences for all learners.” Whitt will receive a $5,000 cash award, a profile in SLJ’s November 2014 issue and a LEGO Education StoryStarter Classroom set with software and curriculum.

Runner’s Up:

  • 1st runner up: Nimitz High School, Irving, Texas,  will receive a $1,500 cash award
  • 2nd runner up: Kaechele Elementary School, Glen Allen, Virginia,  will receive a $500 cash award
  • Editor’s Choice: Adlai Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois,  will receive a $500 cash award

“Congratulations to everyone who entered and to our winners!” said Stephan Turnipseed, Chief Evangelist, LEGO Education. “Our goal with this award is to encourage schools to use their library space to create an atmosphere that will make learning an exciting experience for students of all abilities and backgrounds.”

“School Library Journal is honored to highlight the work of these stellar examples, which highlight the creative work and ‘can do’ ethic of school librarians as they strive to provide creative learning opportunities for their students,” says Kathy Ishizuka, Executive Editor of SLJ.

The Build Something Bold Library Design Award recognizes innovative design within a school library or classroom that demonstrates exemplary and creative use of library space and resources to effectively engage children and/or teens. The winning entries demonstrated the effective use of creative library programming and design to enhance literacy, STEM and creative problem-solving.

The winner will be honored at the SLJ Leadership Summit 2014 in St. Paul, MN, on  October 26.


School Library Journal is the most influential publication serving libraries—the largest market for new children’s and young adult books—and is the only full-service publication serving the youth and school library market. It reaches over 35,000 elementary, middle/junior, and senior high school librarians and youth service librarians in public libraries. SLJ educates its readers to become leaders in technology, reading, and information School Library Journal is a publication of Media Source Inc., which also owns Library Journal, The Horn Book publications, and Junior Library Guild.


About LEGO Education

Since 1980, LEGO Education ( has delivered hands-on, curriculum-based resources for teachers and students worldwide. LEGO Education believes a hands-on, minds-on approach helps students actively take ownership of the learning process and develop 21st-century skills such as creative thinking and problem solving through real-life, engaging experiences.


LEGO and the LEGO logo are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2014 The LEGO Group.



LEGO Education Announces Presale for New LEGO Education MoreToMath 1-2 Solution

MoreToMath 1-2 Core Set with MathBuilder Software

Today, LEGO Education announced the presale of LEGO Education MoreToMath 1-2, a supplemental tool for first and second grades, aimed at teaching and reinforcing the practices of mathematical problem solving as defined by the latest national standards. This innovative classroom resource uses the familiar LEGO brick as the tool that makes abstract math tangible. The addition of MoreToMath builds on LEGO Education’s commitment to deliver engaging, elementary learning solutions across subject areas.

Availability will be in January 2015.

  • MoreToMath 1-2 is a hands-on educational tool for Grades 1-2 targeted at teaching mathematical problem solving, a key component of today’s mathematics curriculum
  • The LEGO Education MoreToMath 1-2 solution includes a LEGO brick set designed for classroom use, curriculum, teacher training videos, an interactive whiteboard software and teacher and student worksheets with built-in assessment that teaches and reinforces the eight practices of mathematical problem solving as defined by the latest Common Core Math standards.
  • The focus of the 48 lessons in the curriculum pack is to provide concrete but challenging problem solving activities for students using the LEGO brick as a hands-on manipulative through which mathematical exploration takes place.

MoreToMath 1-2

For more information and to order your MoreToMath 1-2 solution for delivery in January 2015 please click here.

LEGO and the LEGO logo are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2015 The LEGO Group.


Announcing the 2014 Global Finalists of the Google Science Fair

From Russia to Australia, France, India and Canada, the finalists — ages 13-18 — have created a diverse set of ideas trying to make a positive change in the world.

To see all 15 incredible projects, check them out at the Google Science Fair website.

2014 Google Science Fair Finalists:

Age 13-14

Age 15-16

Age 17-18

Special recognition also goes to Kenneth who has also been awarded the Scientific American Science In Action Award. The prize celebrates a project that addresses a health, resource or environmental challenge and is rewarded with a year’s mentoring from Scientific American and a $50,000 grant toward the project.

What’s next? The 2014 finalists will be California bound to compete at Google HQ on September 22 for the three age category prizes and of course, the overall Google Science Fair Grand Prize Award. The competition will end in style with an awards ceremony, which will be live streamed on the Science Fair YouTube channel and on this website. Tune in to be one of the first to find out this year’s winners!

Be sure to cast a vote via the Google Science Fair website beginning September 1 to pick the 2014 Voter’s Choice Award winner.


Building Student’s Softer Skills, One Brick at a Time

BTE photo for Character Blog

We all want the opportunity to help build the leaders of tomorrow but one important thing we must equip future leaders with is a strong sense of character. Muriel Summers, principal at A.B. Combs Elementary, in Raleigh, North Carolina, takes this to heart, tirelessly working to create young, charismatic leaders, who understand the needs of themselves and others. Here is her story.

Ten years ago, upon her initial arrival at Combs, Muriel Summers was faced with losing her school’s magnet status. In order to maintain it, her Supervisor tasked her with  creating a specialized magnet school concept “like no other in the U.S, using no additional resources”. Through much deliberation, and after attending a keynote given by the late, Dr. Stephen Covey, Muriel decided to transform the school’s stagnant culture and curriculum and shift its core focus to center upon Leadership. The rest is history.

A.B. Combs is a diverse elementary school, boasting children from 64 countries. By recognizing that each student possesses unique gifts and talents, and building on students’ strengths rather than focusing on their weaknesses, Muriel and the other faculty guide A.B. Combs students to continually achieve high levels of academic performance year after year. Combs success in teaching leadership is so apparent that hundreds of administrators and teachers from around the world come to the school’s “Leadership Days” twice a year to learn of their amazing program, in hopes to implement a similar version in their schools.

The staff at A.B. Combs is constantly innovating, and looking to help students not only perform to key learning targets, but to become true 21st century learners equipped for whatever lies ahead. Muriel Summers and her staff were among the first schools to implement LEGO Education BuildToExpress, a way of using LEGO bricks to foster a deeper dialogue with students.  Working closely with LEGO Education, A.B. Combs helped pioneer the use of this facilitative classroom method that strengthens students’ abstract thinking and problem-solving skills. The BuildToExpress process combines specific teaching principles, professional development, and a specially formulated set of LEGO bricks to create a hands-on learning environment where teachers can facilitate healthy classroom dialogue and all students can form a deeper connection with what’s being taught. In one lesson, the teacher invited a World War II Veteran to speak to the class.  She then had the students create LEGO builds that expressed what they had learned about the role of veterans and their service in war time.  Can we add another example here?

According to Muriel Summers regarding BuildToExpress, “There’s no price tag that you can put on what I have seen happen as a result of providing this for our children.  I’ve been in education thirty-four years, this is a gift.  It is a gift of expression, a gift of confidence, a gift of collaboration, a gift of higher-order thinking and problem solving, it’s a gift of understanding and there is absolutely nothing else like it out there to bring about conversation and understanding and appreciation for one another’s ideas.  The bottom line is the academics are soaring as a result of us finding ways to infuse it into every curriculum area in the school.”

BuildToExpress has enhanced A.B. Combs’ leadership program by developing a healthy environment where students learn from one another and respect one another’s thoughts. Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders and don’t we owe them the chance to have characteristics we can be proud of?

After first using BuildToExpress in the classroom, a student said “thank you for letting me use my imagination.”


Have you thanked an engineer today?

STEM blog for elementary portfolio

We often take the modern conveniences we use every single day for granted, and forget that an engineer made many of them possible. Rarely do we consider the feats of engineering that surround us, from cutting-edge automobile design to the very soles of your running shoes.  Since technology is all around us, we all need to have a basic understanding of the gadgets and gizmos to be a productive, well-educated citizen.

In the not-so-distant past, creative problem solvers such as engineers and scientists were regarded as heroes. Engineers and inventors forged a path of success, even in the face of many obstacles, such as society’s skepticism and rudimentary tools available at the time. In an age of reality television, being an engineer lacks certain glamour.

Engineering and sciences fueled the industrial revolution, the PC revolution, and now the communication revolution. All of these events dramatically affected the entire globe, shaping economies, opening new avenues for innovation, and shaping our lives on a macro and micro level.

Today, to be successful, all students to be equipped with STEM skills and the creative problem-solving skills necessary to be innovative and creative.  Creativity should be infused into all subjects, and not left on the back-burner for chance.

How can we provide the opportunities for today’s students and help them see tomorrow’s possibilities?

”The majority of scientists say they developed their passion for science by age 11.  That means that the educational experience children have in grade school profoundly impacts our nation’s ability to graduate a prepared STEM work force,”  said Dr. Mae C. Jemison, an American physician and NASA astronaut.

All children have innate curiosity and unique talents.  By creating environments where learning happens in a variety of ways – hands-on, visual, physical, etc. – we help students discover their innate talents and unlock their special skills. And no, I am not only talking about shop class as a way to find out if the interest lies in vocational training to be carpenter. There are people that can be engineers, but who never discovered this talent because they were asked to learn science using only pen and paper.  How can you see the connection to the real world via a textbook?

At least 8 million jobs available to college graduates in 2018 will be in STEM professions. To put that into perspective, STEM careers are expected to grow by 17% from 2008 to 2018, compared to 9.8% growth for non-STEM occupations. Roughly half of these positions will be in entirely new occupations.  Yet, of all bachelor’s degrees granted in the 2009/2010 academic year, just 5.4 percent were in engineering and 2.4 percent were in computer science. (Source: National Center for Education Statistics.)

This creates a unique challenge for our country’s educators, don’t you think?  How do we adequately teach students the skills that will prepare them for occupations that we don’t even know about yet? One-third of STEM jobs do not require a college degree, but require STEM-literate high school and community college graduates. This means that even for those students who don’t chose to obtain a college degree, STEM skills are still very relevant. (Source: U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration: STEM: Good Jobs Now and for the Future, July 2011)

There are many programs created to drive student interest in science and engineering. Invest your company’s time and energy in supporting programs that have proven track records of success such as the FIRST Robotics Competition, founded by Dean Kamen that has been described as the ‘Super Bowl of Smarts’ “where every player can go pro.”  Connections like these not only inspire young people to understand the value of studying science and technology, but also make them aware of their prospects with inspirational future employers.

By looking to avenues such as these to support STEM education and bring creative problem-solving into the classroom, you are helping to shape a community of creative, life-long learners – and these are the workers that will accelerate our country’s technological future.