I love data and I have a little girl who is a big fan of LEGO. I have never thought of the connection between these two interests until I found Chirs Pham’s excellent article called “Lego and Data: Closer than you think” on LinkedIn.
Since LEGO started producing plastic toys in the 1940s, “it has grown into a worldwide phenomenon of far reaching repercussions” (Educational Technology & Mobile Learning, 2014); not only in the field of building blocks, but also in the field of education.
There are a lot of discussions on the educational advantages of playing LEGO: Encourages thinking and reasoning, develops creativity and divergent thinking, enhances spatial awareness and helps develop problem solving skills etc. Many of these advantages were also frequently mentioned when people talked about working with data.
According to Chris, playing with LEGO sets and working with data sets follow 5 similar mindsets:
1. The best creations rely on the simplest pieces
2. Both require iterative processes to complete
3. Don’t cut corners when it comes to documentation
4. Search and exploration are the most fun parts of the process
5. Designing for play vs. designing for aesthetic