"Building" Better Students — LEGO in the Classroom

Author #1

This presentation fits with "Connection / Engagement / Exploration." I'm connecting a world of play to "real world" concepts. These are very engaging activities — who doesn't love LEGO?! Exploration — can we build mathematical models of the LEGO "system" we are given?

Proposal Abstract

When I first began my teaching career, I was sitting in the office of my Department Chair and I asked him "what's that box of LEGO under your desk for?" He told me "It's part of an activity called ‘LEGO of my Simplex’ (Pendegraft (1997)) that we do in the first day of the Business Decision Models (management science) class you'll be teaching in the Winter Term." I rummaged through my kids' DUPLO blocks and ran that exercise for a number of years. Later, I improved upon it — moving from 14 bricks/set to 84 bricks to make the problem more complex in order to increase the learning. A couple of years later for an Operations Management course, I bought 10 LEGO Fire Trucks and used them at multiple stages of the course to illustrate hands-on some big ideas of the curriculum (learning curves, assembly-line balancing, and quality assurance). Based on end-of-term feedback to get more students involved, I tripled the number of Fire Trucks and tripled the fun! In this presentation I'll introduce the audience to teaching with LEGO in the classroom. We'll get messy and build stuff as we look at some applications of LEGO that I use in my discipline (business operations). I'll also introduce “LEGO Serious Play” — an open source consulting methodology — that I've used outside my discipline in other courses.

 
Feb 18th, 2:10 PM Feb 18th, 2:50 PM

"Building" Better Students — LEGO in the Classroom

OM 3741

When I first began my teaching career, I was sitting in the office of my Department Chair and I asked him "what's that box of LEGO under your desk for?" He told me "It's part of an activity called ‘LEGO of my Simplex’ (Pendegraft (1997)) that we do in the first day of the Business Decision Models (management science) class you'll be teaching in the Winter Term." I rummaged through my kids' DUPLO blocks and ran that exercise for a number of years. Later, I improved upon it — moving from 14 bricks/set to 84 bricks to make the problem more complex in order to increase the learning. A couple of years later for an Operations Management course, I bought 10 LEGO Fire Trucks and used them at multiple stages of the course to illustrate hands-on some big ideas of the curriculum (learning curves, assembly-line balancing, and quality assurance). Based on end-of-term feedback to get more students involved, I tripled the number of Fire Trucks and tripled the fun! In this presentation I'll introduce the audience to teaching with LEGO in the classroom. We'll get messy and build stuff as we look at some applications of LEGO that I use in my discipline (business operations). I'll also introduce “LEGO Serious Play” — an open source consulting methodology — that I've used outside my discipline in other courses.