This past weekend, I attended a LEGO Symposium. It was what I expected – a way of exposing teachers (potential customers) to the whole spectrum of LEGO products that can be used for teaching STEM in the schools. We briefly dipped our toes into the LEGO WeDo, Mindstorms and Tetrix systems. I was so glad to have already worked with WeDo and Mindstorms, otherwise, it might have been too overwhelming.

39a woodenduckAnywhere I go, I tend to find good ideas. One of the best from that day had to do with the introductory remarks. As we signed in, we were all handed the same plastic packet of six LEGO pieces. There was a combination of red and yellow pieces. Just another pile of LEGOs to add to my already growing pile at home I thought. During the opening remarks, we were told to open our little packet of LEGOs and build a duck. OK I can do that, where’s the instructions? Wait, there’s no instructions? How do I do that? The LEGO rep said we could build whatever type of duck we wanted. Wow! What a great way to introduce the concepts of creativity and individual solutions to the same problem. I loved it! Everybody in the room made their own type of duck and they were all uniquely and wonderfully made!

Start with these six pieces. You must use them all to build your duck.

Start with these six pieces. You must use them all to build your duck.

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A single duck is built.

So, who out there wants to figure out the math problem that calculates the number of combinations you can make when you have 6 LEGO pieces?