Center Point School - Learning to play with Legos

 Center Point teachers Dillon Hocket (left) and Megan Reynolds learn how to assemble Lego Mindstorms robotic education tools.

Center Point teachers Dillon Hocket (left) and Megan Reynolds learn how to assemble Lego Mindstorms robotic education tools.

At Looking Glass Center Point School, utilizing the latest tech tools helps keep the students engaged and sparks their creativity. The recent acquisition of new Lego Mindstorms education tools was a bit intimidating to the staff at first, but with in-person training provided by a member of the Lego Academy (yes, that's a thing), the staff is feeling confident in its Lego building skills.

 Lego Academy trainer, Eva Carrender (left), shows Center Point teacher Alicia Bongen how the Legos work.

Lego Academy trainer, Eva Carrender (left), shows Center Point teacher Alicia Bongen how the Legos work.

Eva Carrender, from the Lego Academy, came up to Eugene from San Jose, California to provide an all-day training session with the Center Point staff. The group worked in pairs and followed very specific instructions and videos to help them learn how to assemble the Legos and make them function so that they can, in turn, teach the students how to use these tools. The Lego package was purchased as part of a grant Looking Glass received, from Trust Management Foundation, and the in-person training was (thankfully) provided as part of the package.

By the end of the day, the teachers were pretty proud of being able to make these little machines perform some simple commands, after starting from scratch.

"My excitement with using Lego Mindstorms in our classrooms is multifaceted," explained Center Point teacher Dillon Hockett. "In essence, students are able to practice basic applications of mathematics and physics in a functional, entertaining way. While this is invaluable, I also find it to be equally important and exciting that our students can use a medium they are passionate about to gain proficiency with technological systems that are becoming increasingly relevant in our society.”