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Students use LEGOs to tackle problems

Dec. 01, 2012 @ 11:28 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Daniel Teters said he never thought LEGOs would turn out to be such a valuable learning tool.

But he was watching firsthand Saturday as his elementary students from Spring Hill used a LEGO robot to complete tasks in the 2012 First LEGO League Senior Solutions Challenge. The event was held in in Marshall University's Morrow Library.

"I went to summer training two years ago on LEGO, and no one realized LEGOs could be an educational thing," said Teters, who teaches at Spring Hill. "The big thing is critical thinking, and in Cabell County, it's all about creating critical thinkers."

Saturday's competition featured six teams of students, which ranged in ages from elementary to early high school. Each team had to give a presentation on a research project addressing a problem seniors citizens face that technology could help with. The Spring Hill Talented and Gifted Program, which includes students from several elementary schools, had the idea to insert a microchip into glasses and then have an app that could help locate the glasses if misplaced.

Another group thought of an app to help remind seniors who have diabetes when they need to eat.

Those types of research projects, though hypothetical, help get the brain waves flowing for the LEGO build, as students see their creations come to life using motors and computer programs.

Isaiah Clary, a fifth-grader from Highlawn Elementary on the Spring Hill TAG team, said he's had a lot of fun making the LEGOs come to life. The LEGO robots, though different between the teams, had to complete the same set of tasks to earn points.

For more information about LEGO programs and camps, contact Linda Hamilton at hamilton@marshall.edu or call 304-696-7098.

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