Robolego

By Robert Hickson 25/11/2013


While Siouxsie is encouraging more gender equality in lego figurines “pussy cat” mums are dragging their kids, kicking and screaming (perhaps), to lego classes in Singapore. As the Economist notes, the latter is potentially an interesting new development in Asia, where parents (and politicians) are keen to foster greater creativity and team work in the next generation of students.

It may help, so long as it doesn’t become another parental must-do. It would be interesting to run a long term randomised study to see if lego playing kids have a greater tendency to “do well” (however you want to define that) than those forced to go to music lessons, or extra science and maths classes. Maybe with the growing use of life tracking devices and applications social scientists in the future will have a rich data source to mine to investigate this.

Lego is already being promoted as forming the basis of the next generation of engineers in the US. Their Mindstorms EV3 programmable robotic series of “toys” are used in some school curricula, and form the basis of national and international school competitions.

 

Raspberry pi [used to teach computer programming], and other technologies, are also being increasingly used by schools to engage children and stimulate creativity. Its an increasingly hackable world.

I can foresee a joint venture sometime in the future between Lego and Craig Venter producing Ventos, programmable synthetic cells for your little tykes to play with.