Not just a toy, LEGO building blocks for the future

23 January 2023

Several groups of dedicated primary schoolers across Queensland have spent their final weeks of the school holidays immersed in engineering thanks to the Young Engineers Summer Workshops hosted by CQUniversity.

Workshops were open to children in Years 1-6 and held across Central Queensland' Wide Bay' Fraser Coast and North Queensland.

The workshop summer series focused on LEGO® and its application beyond being just a toy' allowing children to use LEGO® to build and code complex systems that have real-world applications in various fields such as aviation' engineering and space.

CQUniversity Deputy Director of Online Systems and Future Proofing' Pavle Jeric coordinates the Young Engineers Workshops for Central Queensland and said he was pleased to see the level of engagement in such young years' especially when it came to their abilities to develop complex coding systems.

"The children have been learning to build LEGO® models to bring certain topics to life' from gears and belt transmissions to coding as we've been teaching here through a full range of sensors and STEM topics'" Mr Jeric said.

Using LEGO® compatible building blocks and programmable hardware' Mr Jeric explained that the package offered a wide range of skills beyond the scientific elements' where children also learned collaborative skills and team building.

"In addition to the STEM skills' the kids are developing another range of skills' from teamwork to negotiating and how to work with a partner' and providing feedback'" Mr Jeric explained.

"There's also a lot of opportunity for their creativity to come through' so while they are mastering the STEM elements' they also have the ability to make their models look appealing and form great designs' so they have a lot of fun with the creative aspect as well."

Learning and developing this specified range of skills sets these children up to pursue future careers in mechanical' civil and software engineering and IT' and Mr Jeric said the sky is the limit with career possibilities in STEM.

"There are endless possibilities these children will be able to explore in future in terms of their career'" he said.

"Also' achievements of women working in STEM have received more attention in the media than in the past. This is great at cultivating young girls' interest in STEM and it is starting to show in our workshops as well."

The Young Engineers Workshops are held over each school holiday period. Further information can be found by visiting the Young Engineers Central Queensland Facebook page.