Jackie then went on to share her experiences of applying LSP principles to one to one writing support for neurodiverse students: it was very powerful to hear how LSP can empower these students and play to strengths such as creative and big-picture thinking.
Finally Alison provided the broader context in her presentation on Play and your PhD, telling us about her involvement in running playful and creative learning events, and providing plentiful sources of further reading and inspiring examples (dolphin training applied to behavioural psychology anyone?).
Judges were asked to assess each model and presentation against a set of criteria, focussing on skills in creative thinking, storytelling, reflection and use of metaphor. Scores were calculated over lunch, and prize-winners decided upon: this was a difficult task, as the judges found the overall standard to be very high.
All entrants received a participation certificate (not to mention a Lego keyring!) and students placed first, second and third were awarded cash prizes.
Feedback from students, audience and judges alike was positive: the competition was seen by all as adding to student learning, and the vast majority felt that the experience had developed skills in creative/metaphorical thinking, storytelling and reflection. Student feedback: “I was able to look at my research and its development from a whole new dimension.”
Videos of student models and accompanying stories will be available soon, and we are already thinking about #Mindbuilder2…..for more on PhDs and Lego, see Alison’s recent blog post, “Will this catch on?”