Learning to Redesign with Legos

Today, students got a chance to take an object that was poorly designed and turn it into something of their own creation that functioned (and looked!) better than the original! The poor design was a Lego bookcase – the task was to move the bookcase from one classroom to the next, carrying a heavy load of Lego books with ease. The original bookcase couldn’t fit through the doors well because it was too long, and it didn’t even come with wheels!

It was great to watch students get creative with their redesigned Lego bookcases – some were taller and had handles, others were short and wide with wheels. All redesigned bookcases had to hold the same number of books as the original design, but the bookcases weren’t allowed to touch any of the classroom walls. All of the students were up for the challenge and drew their design before they started building. Students tested their design and had the opportunity to redesign based on testing outcome and peer feedback. Once their bookcases were complete, they were excited to show off their designs to classmates and teacher!

We recommend: “How to make a geodesic dome from newspaper” from the Museum of Science – Boston for an extension activity after our visit. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYfszzzZg1c)

Aprendiendo a Re-diseñar con Legos

En la clase de hoy, los estudiantes tuvieron la oportunidad de tomar un objeto mal diseñado y convertirlo en algo de su propia creación, que además de funcionar, ¡se veía mucho mejor que el objeto original! El objeto mal diseñado era una estantería para libros hecha de Legos. Había que mover este estante lleno de libros pesados de una sala de clases a otra, pero no cabía a través de las puertas porque era muy largo y no tenia ruedas. Fue fantástico observar la creatividad de los estudiantes mientras re-diseñaban la estantería de Legos. Algunos hicieron sus estantes más altos y con manijas, mientras que otros los armaron más cortos y anchos pero con ruedas.

Todos los diseños nuevos debían ser capaces de contener el mismo número de libros que el original y no podían apoyarse en la pared. Todos los estudiantes aceptaron el reto y dibujaron sus diseños antes de construirlos. Una vez que armaron los estantes, los estudiantes estuvieron muy contentos de mostrar sus diseños al resto de sus compañeros y profesores.

Recomendamos esta exploración como una actividad de extensión después de nuestra visita: “How to make a geodesic dome from newspaper”, Museum of Science – Boston (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYfszzzZg1c)

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Author

Lauren Koppel

Lauren earned a Bachelor’s degree with a double major of Biology and Psychology from Clark University, and a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. During her undergraduate years, she worked in a evolutionary neurobiology lab that studied the neural development of annelids (marine worms), with a focus on the sox family of genes. Lauren loves learning about how the world works (including everything from biology to chemistry to engineering), and is passionate about sharing that knowledge and enthusiasm with others. In the past, she has interned at the Museum of Science, where she educated learners of all ages through hands-on activities, games, and experiments. Other science education organizations with which Lauren has worked include The People’s Science, EurekaFest, and Eureka! of Girls Inc. of Worcester. Currently she lives in Boston, where devotes her free time to playing Quidditch, reading sci-fi novels, playing her ukulele, and enjoying all the culinary delights the city has to offer.

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