Something to build on: Lego club unites students

Students at North Elementary in Fruitland are finding the building blocks of learning and leadership quite literally.

Fourth-grader Ainsley McClard has been leading classmates in the school's Lego Mindstorm program, a before-school introductory robotics program with Legos, according to reporting by the Southeast Missourian's Ben Kleine.

Ainsley is one of four students who gave a presentation about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) and the Mindstorm clubs to the Jackson School Board.

According to Kleine's story, 15 students participate in the program. The group has created catapults and built other structures using "Little Bits, which are programmable and connectible battery-powered circuits.

Ainsley's father happens to be the principal of the school, and he's seen students become empowered by the ability to engage and be creative, but he also sees the academic value of the hands-on learning.

"In education, there's a big push to get people into engineering and coding jobs that are going unfilled," the principal said.

We're encouraged to see what's happening in this little club in Jackson. Hands-on learning is forging friendships; it's developing leaders. Students are learning how to combine science and engineering skills with creativity.

Congrats to everyone who is involved with this club at North Elementary. It's one of many positive and worthwhile programs quietly emerging within our local schools.