LEGO® Tinkering is a hands-on approach to learning and thinking in a creative, critical way. Children are encouraged to use their curiosity and interests to construct new buildings and models. Through LEGO® Tinkering, children build their creativity, lateral thinking, and problem-solving skills while strengthening their understanding of machines, mechanics, and movement.
On the 25th of February 2022, Stilfontein Primary School hosted an event in Potchefstroom attended by members of Care for Education, The Department of Education, LEGO® Foundation, and North-West University. Professor Lloyd Conley, Executive Dean at the North-West University Faculty of Education, mentioned the need for children to move away from “cosmetic learning” by incorporating more sensory-filled experiences in classrooms. LEGO® Tinkering promotes active learning by encouraging children to communicate, feel and manipulate components and different materials.
Following introductions, Stilfontein Primary School hosted a dynamic LEGO® Tinkering session. Children were given instructions, a LEGO® Tinkering Toolbox, and a timeframe. Children worked in groups to construct creative, innovative parks and recreational models using base examples presented by their facilitator. The tables were arranged for active collaboration and energetic movement between facilitators and learners. Children were given freedom of creation and exploration with occasional input from facilitators and teachers. Members from Care for Education, The Department of Education, LEGO® Foundation, and North-West University actively participated as children tinkered and constructed their dream parks. The hall was alive with enthusiasm and playfulness as children presented their unique models and explained their building and thinking processes.
Representatives from LEGO® Foundation advocated the need to change mindsets and perspectives on play. LEGO® Tinkering deepens the experience of learning through play and builds communication and imaginative thinking skills. The LEGO® Tinkering Toolbox contains the elements necessary to build many open-ended explorations and enhance iteration processes, observation, reflection competencies, and questioning skills. The tinkering kits will be used in sections of the coding and robotics curriculum soon-to-be-implemented in government schools in South Africa.
LEGO® Tinkering is an up-and-coming approach to learning in the 21st century, and Care for Education and LEGO® Foundation will be the forerunners of the pilot programs.