The Lego Lab at Crenshaw focuses on integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math in a way that allows students to showcase their creativity. They may not be master builders yet, but students at Crenshaw Environmental Science Magnet in Galveston ISD are getting hands-on experience in the Lego Lab every day.
“It’s fun and I like coming in here to learn and build,” exclaims third-grader Jules Rawson. “It’s learning and playing!”
“In this lab they are playing with Legos, but during this play, they are learning critical thinking, collaboration, and problem solving,” explains GISD District Magnet Technology Coach Christine Moore. “It’s meaningful play that keeps them engaged and excited.”
Moore says that the lab was ready to go last year but the kids never got to use it due to COVID restrictions. Now students visit the lab every day as part of their daily schedule.
“The magnet grant for Galveston ISD has a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) component. The other GISD magnet schools have established STEM programs,” explains Crenshaw Magnet Coordinator Christina Stark. “After we saw a Lego demonstration at a magnet school conference we knew this could be an amazing opportunity for our students and Crenshaw's STEM lab.”
The lab is a large classroom with plenty of space for the students to spread out and construct their projects which incorporate classroom lessons into brick-building masterpieces.
“Not only is the build important, but the story behind what they are building is important. Today this class is using Legos for math,” says Stark. “Students have also built bridges and learned about engineering, created scenes to represent the various genres of reading, and even had a 9/11 inspired building day while learning about that date in history.”
“Most of the time I feel like I’m having fun, but sometimes it feels like learning,” says third-grader Malachi Jones. “I really like it, it’s a good way to relax and it’s not as hot as recess or gym.”
“My favorite part about the Lego Lab is that we get to be creative and use our imagination,” adds Rawson.
The students' imagination may soon have even more room to expand. The school already has the equipment to introduce Lego robotics and 3D printing, which it plans to incorporate in the near future. This lab is funded by the Magnet Schools Assistance Program.