Ella Kempf and Chase Warnicke learn some important science with LEGOS at St. Paul School, Eugene.
Ella Kempf and Chase Warnicke learn some important science with LEGOS at St. Paul School, Eugene.
EUGENE — This year, kindergarten and first grade students at St. Paul Parish School have been learning about gears, pulleys, levers, wheels and axles through the use of the LEGO Simple Machines curriculum.

Students work in small groups to create different simple machines. Most recently, they completed a merry-go-round and a popcorn cart. While working with members of their team they are able to work on communication and creative problem solving as well. The activities lead students to make initial use of scientific method through observation, reasoning, prediction and critical thinking.

Kristen Mikilas, the kindergarten teacher,  and Paula Kelly, first grade teacher, received funding for the LEGO Simple Machines curriculum through two grants. At the end of last school year, they were recognized for being outstanding educators in Eugene and Springfield and received $500 from Kendall Automotive Group. This year they received a $500 SELCO Mini-Grant from SELCO Community Credit Union. Mikilas and Kelly have used the money to implement LEGO education in their classrooms.

“It has been so enjoyable watching students utilize the program to challenge their critical thinking skills and shine through differentiated learning,” Kelly says.