LEGO® Education Master Educator Spotlight - Justin Pembroke
Title/School: STEM & Digital Technologies Coach at Chancellor State College, Australia
Years of Experience: 8 years
Primary LE Solution used: WeDo/EV3/SPIKE Prime
Social media accounts/blogs/websites: www.robocoast.tech
What would you say is your philosophy as an educator?
I believe that all students are capable creative learners. It is with this creativity that we unlock the unique way in which they learn best. Everyone in my classroom contributes as a student, teacher and problem solver.
What is the greatest benefit of a hands on approach to learning?
It’s real. Students see directly the rewards of their efforts and in turn this pushes them to delve deeper into their learning. In short effort drives success.
What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
Watching the light bulb moments that occur during learning. I love being able to provide experiences for students to recognize their own strengths and to celebrate them with them. These are the things kids remember for years to come.
What is one of your proudest moments in the classroom?
As a rookie FLL coach my group of first time coders made it to the national championship in the Into Orbit season. It was my first time being involved in the program and I was incredibly proud of what they achieved through hard work.
What advice would you give teachers about implementing a blended learning strategy?
Work with what you have. A lot of schools are stretching budgets to buy the latest gadgets as they believe this will give the best outcomes. The key to outcomes within blended learning is always going to be the teacher not the tool so spend time building your knowledge of curriculum and how you will meet the standards for your students.
What is the potential impact you anticipate SPIKE Prime could have on your students’ learning/building their confidence in STEAM learning?
I like the path that is happening with the direction towards Mirco Python across platforms. I also like the new software being scratch based as it provides a more direct approach to object orientated programming. SPIKE Prime is a smaller platform overall and feedback from my girls is that it “looks pretty.”
Failure is often a key aspect of the learning process. What's the most important lesson you've learned through failing?
It’s important to seek help. Often the answer to a problem is staring you in the face. Fresh eyes and fresh perspectives are needed in all forms of our lives. Students benefit from peer interaction, sharing problems and thrive in a collaborative space. I have as my students have found mentors to further my own skill set to better cater to my students. Lifelong learning is embracing failure and finding ways to strength our ability to deal with it.
What are some of your favorite activities/hobbies to do at home?
I have a young family so enjoy spending time with them. I enjoy going to the gym and training at my local CrossFit box.
Hard to say for book but I did enjoy Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. Favorite movie would be Ready Player One.
First musical album you ever owned?
Blink 182 – Dude Ranch
Were you a LEGO Fan as a kid? What’s your LEGO Story?
One of my fondest memories is a huge LEGO Pirate ship that I had as a child. This is something I am now reliving as a parent with my young son who is now a very keen LEGO fan. He reminds me of myself and the joy that playing with LEGO brought to my life.