DCU launches Lego Education Centre for teachers

It will focus on approaches to teaching science, technology, engineering and maths

DCU, Lego Education Centre, St Patrick's College, teacher training, schools, STEM, Brian MacCraith

A full-size house made entirely with Lego bricks. Not pictured: DCU's Lego Education Centre | Image: Steve Parsons / PA Archive/PA Images

Dublin City University (DCU) is partnering with Lego to create a new learning hub.

The university says it will help student teachers and schools develop innovative approaches to teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects in the classroom.

The Lego Education Innovation Studio will see the new Institute of Education at DCU's St Patrick's Campus become the first centre of teacher education in Ireland to mainstream these approaches across all its programmes.

DCU says students will develop new approaches to teaching that can be replicated in schools throughout the country.

"By adopting Lego's playful learning tools, teachers graduating from DCU Institute of Education will be fully skilled in helping schoolchildren develop 'Hands-on Minds-on' 21st Century skills such as creative thinking, problem-solving, team-working and communication", it adds.

Professor Brian MacCraith, president of DCU and chair of the STEM Education Working Group, said: "High quality STEM education is of pivotal importance to a knowledge-based society and economy such as Ireland".

"Our ultimate purpose at DCU Institute of Education is to inspire and develop students to think creatively, reason systematically and release the potential to shape their own future and the future of their students in turn".

"This unique collaboration with Lego Education can play a key role in transforming the future of STEM learning in Ireland, helping future generations to develop a sense of wonder about the subjects that allow us to understand, measure, design and advance our physical world", he added.

The new studio will have the capacity to develop research projects through linkages with existing DCU research centres such as the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Teaching and Learning (CASTEL), and to explore cross-faculty research possibilities with the Faculty of Engineering and Computing.

Internationally, the studio at DCU will lead a European teacher education network to develop new teaching methods across Europe and exchange ideas and best practice.

The network will include existing partners from Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.