Using Legos in the classroom is not a new concept at all. There are so many different classroom applications for the popular brightly colored bricks, and despite the myriad of uses, the go-to task for Legos is most often math. The handy little nubs sitting atop the bricks offer a chance to teach things like area and perimeter, the different colors lend themselves well to fractions.
The handy infographic below takes a look at different ways to use fractions to teach math. The visual aspect is pretty handy – you can clearly see how your students will be able to group and divide the blocks to grasp the concepts in a fun way. Do you have other math-specific ways you’ve employed Legos in the classroom? Share your awesome ideas with the Edudemic community by leaving a comment below, mentioning @Edudemic on Twitter or leaving your thoughts on our Facebook page.
Using Legos To Teach Math
Fractions: Using bricks of the same size but different color, have the students count out the denominator (total bricks) and the numerator representative of each color. You can employ any size bricks for this task.
Area and Perimeter: Using bricks of any color, construct a rectangle or square. The students can use the nubs on top of the bricks to calculate the area and the perimeter of each shape they create.
Multiplication: Using bricks of various sizes (ie 4 nubs on top, 8 nubs on top), students can calculate how many total nubs there are based on the number of same-sized bricks. Thus, a group of 4 ‘size 4′ bricks would yield 16 nubs)
Mean, Median, Mode, and Range: Using groups of different sized bricks (ie, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1) and totaling the nubs on each group, students can calculate the mean, median, mode, and range.
Place Value: Using a bullseye visual or other type of visual (like this one), place different ‘sized’ bricks in each category, and the students can use that information to write out the number indicated. This could make for fun group work in class.
Recycled Hard Drive Instrument - Electric Waste Orchestra
Creating unconventional musical instruments from outdated computer parts and other e-waste
In the hubbub of Moogfest, we serendipitously ran into a guy wearing purple 3D-printed eyeglasses and holding something that looked like a keytar. Upon closer inspection, and with the house lights turned up, it turned out to be a musical instrument made from outdated computer parts. Colten Jackson wasn’t a speaker at the festival, but a passionate musician who made the trek to Asheville from Champaign, IL, to spread the word about his educational side project, Electric Waste Orchestra. Jackson reuses e-waste to make music in unconventional ways—for example, in this video he transformed six hard-drives and a number pad into a musical instrument (with help from Arduino hardware and Pure Data software) and jams along with a modular synthesizer. (Read more)
Meet Elif Bilgin, the 16-year-old winner of the Scientific American Science in Action Award and winner of the Voter’s Choice Award for the Google Science Fair 2013.
Wanting to reduce pollution in her home city of Istanbul, Elif manufactured a new environmentally-friendly bio-plastic that uses banana peels - an organic material - instead of traditional petroleum sources.