LEGO 'class-kits' to bring fun to Chinese classrooms

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 12, 2019
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LEGO, the world's leading toy maker, has teamed up with a Chinese publisher, to launch a set of "class-kits" empowering classrooms in Chinese primary and middle schools with creative and entertaining education approaches.

Esben Stark Jorgensen, global president of Lego Education, on Monday demonstrated the new model labeled as LEGO Education SPIKE Prime, including Lego text-books for students, science-robot sets and mind-storm EV3 robot core sets.

"We did a survey in China, which shows more than 90 percent interviewed Chinese parents believe their kids are over-burdened by school education, and more than 85 percent teachers understand their students are losing self-confidence due to growing school education pressure. That's why we are moving forward," said Jorgensen at the product launch in Shanghai.

The company has designed the "class-kits" for encouraging science, technology, engineering, arts and math, known as STEAM classes, together with the publishing house of East China Normal University based in Shanghai.

LEGO toys have become a massive hit in China since the company entered the country over two decades ago. The Chinese market registered strong double-digit revenue growth in 2018 as the Danish toy giant expanded business in more cities and on e-commerce, digital and physical platforms.

"The key words of my design process (of the classroom kits) is curiosity, technology, environment, class management and fun. Hands-on learning is the best way to learn," said Paw Max Andersen, model designer of LEGO Education.

The toy developer believes playing programming robots cannot only inspire school students but also boost confidence in the study. The LEGO toys and related lessons can make a change of classroom atmosphere to relieve students from routine school courses.

Wang Jian, vice president of East China Normal University publishing house, said as the Chinese partner of LEGO, the company is optimistic about the Chinese STEAM education market, as the fun-study is making inroads in schools.

The Chinese government is encouraging schools to introduce more interesting and interactive STEAM classes, instead of exam-oriented "spoon-feeding" education.

Wang said that the LEGO set encourages cross-disciplinary practice, while traditional school courses divide subjects scrupulously. LEGO has customized each lesson into the 45-minute standard Chinese class length.

"I'm sure my son would love the LEGO class in school. But I don't think it can alleviate students' stress and anxiety in school study. The educational reform still has a long way to go," said Zhu Tianling, a 41-year-old Shanghai lawyer and mother of three kids. 

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