Why should my school take part in this research?
The research literature consistently reports a relationship between LEGO® activities and mathematics, yet we do not know what links these skills (e.g., the ability to imagine an object rotating or the memory processes required to build from instructions) or whether Lego activities can be used to support children’s mathematics learning. With the help of your school, we aim to better understand this relationship.
Your school will receive a summary of our findings. This will include suggestions for both parents and teachers of activities that you might like to do with the children that could have a positive impact on their maths abilities. The first aim of this series of studies is to better understand the relationship between Lego and mathematics (study 1). The data from this study will then feed into our second aim, in which we will work with schools to run a Lego construction intervention, as a method for improving mathematics competence (study 2). Your school can get involved in study 1 or both studies 1 and 2.
Who can take part?
We are recruiting children from Years 3 and 4. If the Headteacher of your school has given permission for the school to be involved in the study, parents/guardians of all eligible children will be informed about the project using a parental letter that is sent to them, by the school, via email. Parents will be asked to complete an online consent form indicating they would like their child to participate. Subsequently, the details of this project will be explained to children and they will be asked to consent to show that they would like to participate.
What happens next if we choose to participate?
Following parental consent, we will ask children to consent to taking part using a child-friendly online form. All participating children in studies 1 and 2 will complete three to four 30-minute sessions with a researcher, on different days. They will complete a Lego construction task (either using digital or physical Lego) as well as tasks which measure attention, memory, spatial and mathematical abilities. Tasks will be completed individually or in small groups during the school day at times agreed with the teachers and Headteacher of your school. For study 2, children will then take part in one of three intervention conditions (physical Lego construction, digital Lego construction, crafting intervention) which will be run during the school lunch break. The interventions each consist of twelve 30-minute sessions (two 30-minute sessions per week for six weeks). We will then measure the children’s spatial and mathematics skills after the intervention. All researchers working on this project have completed enhanced DBS checks.
Will I be given the results of the children’s tests?
The results from our measures will not be used to indicate an individual child’s talent and/or interest in maths or spatial abilities. All data will be anonymised and we will not be in a position to provide you with any child’s individual results. However, your school will receive a summary of our findings. This will include suggestions for both parents and teachers of activities that you might like to do with the children that could have a positive impact on their maths abilities. We can also provide a workshop or inset session for teachers and/or children on the importance of spatial ability for STEM.