Our final good practice on social inclusion and integration of people with disabilities comes from the field of the Lego Robot League and Eduact.
The Non-Profit Educational Association Eduact goes beyond the narrow confines of formal education of the present and introduces new educational programs to all children of the future. Over the last seven years, Eduact has been working in the field of non-formal education with particular emphasis placed on new technologies, coding and educational robotics. Eduact leads the way in the field of modern education by implementing practices aimed at introducing innovation into the educational process and by emphasizing the importance of equality of opportunity, access, and participation of social groups regardless of their background in programs which shape young people and endow them with leadership characteristics and social sensitivity.
Eduact’s activities involve the preparation of youth teams for their participation in the FIRST® LEGO® League. The FIRST® LEGO® League guides youth through STEM learning and exploration at an early age. From Discover, to Explore, and then to Challenge, students will understand the basics of STEM and apply their skills in an exciting competition while building habits of learning, confidence, and teamwork skills along the way. A chance to shine! Learn to research different topics, find solutions, innovate and then present it. Research, robot design, teamwork and robotics are the spirit of this celebration.
Aiming towards social inclusion and integration, Eduact welcomed the team «ΑΣΤΕΡΕΕΕΕΚ», a «special education laboratory» from Orestiada, in their roster. Teachers took the initiative of building «ΑΣΤΕΡΕΕΕΕΚ» with the purpose of promoting integration of people with disabilities through robotics, STEM & science, and the cultivation of team spirit, discipline, leadership, initiative, trust, empathy, communication skills, presentation skills and eye-hand coordination. The team is comprised of twelve teenagers aged between 10 and 16 and focuses on building robots and teaching coding. For them, the effort becomes an experience and then knowledge and celebration. Mathematical thinking is one of the most important skills of this team, while building activities are their favourite topic during training. When it comes to presentation and research, they are implemented through song or theatre play.
During the training, all teams who participate in the final event of the FIRST® LEGO® Leaguethe should have constant communication with the association through a group of experts always at the ready, who can answer questions and guide the teams to find solutions for any problems that may arise. The inclusion of team «ΑΣΤΕΡΕΕΕΕΚ» and the interaction with them was a unique chance to gain knowledge on how to better include children with disabilities in the workshops and events. The team’s participation was financially covered by LEGO Foundation. Eduact was amazed by all the resources, support and encouragement they received throughout the project, so always remember to reach out to local communities and international foundations alike when seeking to implement something innovative and challenging.