You step into a magical LEGO store and you get an immediate rush of wonder and excitement as you are surrounded by colorful walls made of tiny bricks, those very same bricks you’ve held and pieced together to create your own little imaginative builds. You stare in awe of the towering structure of Darth Vader or Spiderman seemingly made of pixels. These pixels turn out to be more LEGOs and the entire wonderland consumes you with the giddy possibilities you can have with one brick.
We’ve all had this experience. The kids of today and yesteryear have that shared experience with LEGO—arguably a classic staple in every dream playroom, pretty much being key building bricks in forming our childhood both literally and figuratively. The brand’s core values accurately represent what has always made it the practical and enjoyable toy-and-tool our parents choose with us—Imagination. Creativity. Fun. Learning. Caring. Quality.
LEGO is an educational resource here—a tool to be used for learning by making.
Whether we wanted to be architects, artists, and engineers or we just really enjoyed collecting their numerous series, those little plastic bricks have become part of our idea of what makes being a kid great, and now, our educational system is catching on.
From Stormtroopers to MINDSTORMS
As LEGO continues to modernize its platforms with movies like LEGO Batman and video games like LEGO Harry Potter and LEGO Marvel Heroes (it’s a whole lotta LEGO), it seems apt that their next step into the future is robotics. Much like the space-age wonder of their Star Wars series, LEGO is adopting real-world technology for kids to create their own robots and program them to their unique specifications – MINDSTORMS.
In the Philippines, STEM educators are making use of this new line by incorporating it into student programs to enable what the Philippine Robotics Academy has coined as a ‘mind-on-hands-on’ experience. According to First in Educational Learning Trends Always (FELTA) Multi-Media President and CEO Mylene Abiva, LEGO is “an educational resource here—a tool to be used for learning by making.”
“We are building a society of critical thinkers and developing a science-based culture,” she continues on FELTA’s work in partnership with LEGO Education. The program aims to enable kids with a more productive learning system that is both engaging and relevant to the continuously emerging technological landscape of the modern day. As of now, over 800 Filipino students are part of the program and the Department of Education continues to strive for this number to grow so that more young Pinoys are encouraged to innovate, create, and inspire.
The brick in our walls
Now we watch the Lego Education project spread and reach more aspiring robot-designers, once again allowing the brand to put its stamp on the creative learning journey of an entirely new generation. Picture it: a world with the perfect balance of futuristic technology and the classics of a distant yet tangible past.
We are building a society of critical thinkers and developing a science-based culture,
It seems a big part of what keeps LEGO a definitive player in the industry of playthings and imagination is its ability to adapt to change, even lead its direction, while retaining the core aspects that it has carried and built through the years. Those very aspects that, nostalgic and ever-reliable, harken to every person’s hazy memories of youth and the distinct feeling of perhaps having the future in your hands by way of a bright and colorful little brick. Consistently taking the top spot in Forbes’ Most Powerful Brands list (including this year’s), LEGO appeals to all of us because of the creative freedom it represents time and again. Through its lines and programs, children and former children can grasp a world of endless possibility and collaboration that may translate into every aspect of our daily lives.
Forbes marks the brand’s gender-neutral marketing and nostalgic sensibilities as the key factors that keep it the biggest brand of our time. As LEGO Philippines’ message now is “a Lego in every home,” with their educational efforts it seems all too likely that tomorrow’s kids will also see a Lego in every classroom. With what they bring to the table, that can’t be a bad thing. What makes LEGO a true staple is the idea it holds for everyone—that anything is possible, and we can make it so. Perhaps this can be easily summed up in the hopeful and catchy words of the anthropomorphic LEGO people themselves back in 2014: “Everything is awesome. Everything is cool when you’re part of a team. Everything is awesome when we’re living our dream.”