LEGO Robotics: An authentic problem solving tool?

Alanah-Rei Castledine, Chris Chalmers
2011, Vol. 16, No. 3,


With the current curriculum focus on correlating classroom
problem solving lessons to real-world contexts, are LEGO
robotics an effective problem solving tool? This present
study was designed to investigate this question and to
ascertain what problem solving strategies primary students
engaged with when working with LEGO robotics and
whether the students were able to effectively relate their
problem solving strategies to real-world contexts. The
qualitative study involved 23 Grade 6 students participating
in robotics activities at a Brisbane primary school. The study
included data collected from researcher observations of
student problem solving discussions, collected software
programs, and data from a student completed
questionnaire. Results from the study indicated that the
robotic activities assisted students to reflect on the problem
solving decisions they made. The study also highlighted
that the students were able to relate their problem solving
strategies to real-world contexts. The study demonstrated
that while LEGO robotics can be considered useful
problem solving tools in the classroom, careful teacher
scaffolding needs to be implemented in regards to
correlating LEGO with authentic problem solving. Further
research in regards to how teachers can best embed realworld
contexts into effective robotics lessons is


technology, LEGO robotics, problem solving, metacognition, reflection, authentic contexts

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