B6: Learning through Play with The LEGO Foundation


Original description: Whether presenting to academics, policy makers, educators, or the general public, communicating about the science of creativity can be difficult. Many people hold pre-existing ideas and biases about what creativity is, who has it, and whether or how it develops. The LEGO Foundation uses carefully designed, evidence-based, hands-on experiences to sidestep these assumptions, replacing them with evidence that participants literally explore with their hands. In this interactive workshop, Elisabeth McClure will guide you in one of the Foundation’s most popular hands-on activities on creativity, which demonstrates the power of open-ended creative experiences for learning. Moreover you will get a glimpse at a new hands-on experience, still in development, which is designed to support formative, reflective conversations about the creative process between educators and learners. Come prepared to play and build!

Lessons learned


  • There are perhaps a zillion ways to build a duck from only a handful of bricks.
  • Each duck tells its own story and is a reflection of its builders experience and imagination.
  • Having to build a duck under time pressure can be fun or uncomfortable or both.
  • Building is not only a process of creation but also of constant reflection and evaluation.
  • Creativity is messy.
  • Creativity lies not in asking questions with one possible answer, but in providing space for endless answers. (Imagine the possibilities if we do not ask children to solve '2+2=?' but '?=4' instead.)