Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Teaching math with Lego

As a parent engineer, my greatest fear is that my children will not like math too much. I'm not afraid that they will have problem with math at all, I believe I will be able to teach them how to handle numbers, logic and data properly. I'm just afraid that they will not see that math is beautiful and is universal tool to handle many and many day to day problems. But maybe I'm just overreacting as a young parent? Despite this, I'm still thinking about todays education, especially in STEM fields, and I decided to share my journey with you since beginning.

One of my first ideas was to use Lego bricks. So we waited till my daughter's first birthday and we gave her bucket with Lego bricks. She was aware of that gift, she played a little and then she started to ignore bricks and play with little drum. OK, no problem with that from my point of view :). We tried to play with that set couple times more on following days, and she was low to mildly interested. Sure, why not. Then we put this set in corner of her "playground" and basically forget about it.

And then suddenly, we accidentally started to play with those bricks again, and my daughter was sucked immediately. He loved to play with them, and to be honest, I and my wife were pretty surprised. What was the cause of it, what changed? Answer was simple, my daughter was older. She was 1,5 year old give or take few days. and that was exact number as entry age for this set. I thought "Whoa, this is really working!" and imminently started to looking for more math set. After checking Lego catalog I found perfect set for young STEM adept: My First Number Train Building Set 10558. This set contains 31 parts and was released in 2013.

10558 - Number Train
Why I consider this as a god STEM starter set? Well, it has numbers ;). There are 10 bricks with numbers from 1 to 10 on them. There are also 4 train/car platforms which can be connected into one locomotive and three wagons trains. There are also parts which build nice locomotive with movable roof. In addition there is one boy minifigure and dog figure.

What are my observations about it? I think that numbers are fine, but there is lack of proportion which can teach order of them. Of course they are simple, big, easy to handle bricks, so I guess that was a trade. Apart of that I think that building cars, trains, connecting wagons works great. I can honestly recommend that set as one of first sets of Lego you can buy to your kid.

If you like my blog you can consider buying this set through my Amazon Associates link.

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