LEGO® Education Goes into Orbit with Space Shuttle Endeavor
The LEGO Group and NASA partner to inspire children and encourage 21st Century learning
PITTSBURG, Kan. -- April 27, 2011 -- LEGO Education, a respected thought leader in education, announced today they will send 13 LEGO Education models to the International Space Station (ISS) on board the Space Shuttle Endeavor on April 29. The models will be used in eight educational activities that will be conducted by ISS crew and available to educators across the nation to utilize in classroom curricula. The LEGO Bricks in Space project is part of a joint outreach and educational program developed as part of the partnership between NASA and the LEGO Group to inspire children to explore science, technology, engineering, and math.
LEGO Education has worked with hundreds of teachers and invested many years in collaboration and research with experts to develop curriculum guides and lesson plans that reshape the traditional approach to education. "21st Century learning is about providing children with opportunities to experiment with their surroundings, not just sit in desks. Our educational products enable and encourage students to be active, creative, and collaborative solution seekers," said Stephan Turnipseed, president of LEGO Education North America. "The partnership with NASA is a natural fit – we both want to inspire children and encourage educators. LEGO Education is proud to be part of a select group chosen by NASA to work with to inspire the new generation of students."
Onboard the ISS, the astronauts will explore the effects of microgravity on simple machines by building models, conducting experiments, and sharing those results with students and teachers back on Earth through video and crew commentary. Each activity will have a downloadable teacher's guide and student worksheet so that the same activities can be conducted by students on Earth and the results compared and contrasted.
"We know students learn better by doing – our education products provide hands-on, minds-on learning experiences for students of all ages. LEGO Education supports creativity in teaching and learning – we know it makes a difference," said Turnipseed.
The in-class portion of the LEGO Bricks in Space project will be available to educators starting in September 2011. A web site, www.LEGOspace.com, is currently available offering information about four of the activities and their educational value to teachers. The site also houses a number of downloads, video links, a LEGOnaut game, and various facts about space exploration.
The LEGO Bricks in Space project also encompasses models from the LEGO CITY Space Port line with corresponding activities such as a custom LEGO tour of the space shuttle and International Space Station. The LEGO CITY Space Port activities will also be available on the project web site later this fall.
To celebrate the launch of the shuttle and the joint educational program using LEGO models in space, LEGO Education and NASA are hosting a "Build the Future" event at the Kennedy Space Center's Visitors Complex through Friday, April 29. The building event will offer nearly 10,000 children (over the course of four days) the opportunity to create and build the future of space using LEGO bricks and their imaginations.
About LEGO Education
LEGO Education offers unique solutions for preK-12 educators who want to incorporate innovation, creativity and hands-on learning in their classroom. With the LEGO System for Learning, teachers can create enriching learning experiences that engage young minds and prepare today's student for the realities of tomorrow. LEGO Education solutions and teaching methods provide students with the tools to learn by experience, to collaborate with their classmates and to think creatively to develop unique solutions. That's LEGO Smart™. For more information, visit our Web site at www.LEGOeducation.us. You may also follow us on Facebook (LEGOEducationNorthAmerica) and Twitter (@lego_education). LEGO, the LEGO logo, DUPLO, WEDO, MINDSTORMS, and the MINDSTORMS logo are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2011 The LEGO Group.