USM professor using Legos in the classroom

Students in Mary Anne Peobody's class at the Lewiston-Auburn College of USM are using Legos to learn about expressive therapy.

LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Lectures, writing assignments and exams were expected from students when they enrolled at the Lewiston-Auburn College of the University of Southern Maine, but Legos were not.

Students in Mary Anne Peabody's Intro to Expressive Therapy class at the Lewiston college were surprised when they heard that they would be using Lego building blocks in the classroom. The Assistant Professor in social and behavioral sciences asks students to use the Legos to express what certain lessons represent to them.

"Engagement in the classroom," said Peabody. "We know that anytime you tinker or play with something it hits a different part of the neurological part of the brain."

Senior, Molly Samson, majors in social behavioral sciences with the goal of one day working with students with developmental disabilities. The Legos have showed her what play therapy will be like for the young patients at the other end of her questions.

"You automatically find that you're applying what we've learned in class," said Samson. " I wasn't thinking about what I was doing. I was just building and then I was like oh that represents this and could apply it to everything we've learned."

Students aren't necessarily graded on the in-class Lego projects, but Peabody does take into account their levels of participation and how they present what they've built.


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