Lego Robotics Program at PEP Willow Creek Holds Many Lessons
This year PEP Willow Creek launched a Lego Robotics program throughout the center. Not only has it been a fun experience for students, but it has also provided them with the opportunity to engage in more STEM-based learning.
During Lego Robotics lessons, students work in teams to complete the lesson for the day. As they work, they learn about science-related topics while building robotic structures. Lego provides lessons for students to follow. Once their build is complete, they code the structure to move, light up and make sounds.
Emotional Regulation and Learning
“I was looking for a way to incorporate more STEM-based learning and knew this would be a great way to do it,” said Quintin Putt, PEP Willow Creek’s principal. “Not only is it a good way to teach science topics, but we also know that hands-on work that engages a child in the creative process can be very regulating.”
The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics teaches us that before children can learn, they must be regulated. As a Phase II NMT certified agency, PEP is creative at finding ways to help its young people learn to regulate their emotions. Like the Lego Robotics program, so many of the activities we work on with our students are about more than what they appear to be on the surface. Yes, the Lego Robots help us teach about science concepts but the soothing, repetitive nature of the activity itself also helps sooth heightened emotions.
Seeking Out Strengths
For some students, the Lego Robotics program is a chance to shine. One student who was behind his peers academically, excelled at the Lego Robotics program, explained his teacher, Pam Kvasnicka. “You can see how much it means to him just by looking at the pride on his face,” she said. “He will hold up his creation and say, ‘Look how well I can do this!’”
This feeling of success is more than just a perfunctory “good job” moment. Re-ED, PEP’s founding philosophy, is strengths-based. We strive to find a child’s strengths and build upon them, rather than dwelling on what is wrong. For this young man, the experience of success he had with the Lego Robotics program, helped him change the way he viewed himself. This sense of pride and accomplishment will serve as a foundation for him and help him understand his potential.
To learn more about PEP Willow Creek’s Lego Robotics program or to learn more about PEP’s Day Treatment Centers, visit our website. Contact Nicole Molnar, clinical coordinator, at 216-361-7760 ext. 110 or via email to see if a student in your district may be a good fit.
Please note, referrals are made through school districts. Interested parents or caregivers should contact their school administrator.