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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Mitchel Resnick, Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab, Announced as Winner of the 2021 LEGO® Prize Award

October 13, 2021 GMT

BILLUND, Denmark, Oct. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The LEGO Foundation has awarded the 2021 LEGO® Prize to Mitchel Resnick, Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab, for his work advocating for, and championing learning through play.

Since 1985, the LEGO® Prize has been presented to individuals or organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to the lives of children. The prize is accompanied by a cash award of $100,000 USD to further research and development within learning through play.

“Following 35 years of collaboration with Mitch, I am more than delighted to award this year’s LEGO® Prize to him. Mitch understands play better than most and he knows how important it is for children across the world” said Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, Third Generation LEGO Owner & Member of the LEGO Foundation Board “He and his team have created an amazing computer programming system, Scratch, which makes technology intuitive, accessible, and usable for children, while supporting the development of their creative skills. He is not only a true advocate for learning through play, but also a pioneer for creativity, curiosity and imagination in the school system, so that ‘Lifelong Kindergarten’ becomes lifelong learning.”

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Sharing a passion for learning through play, the LEGO Group, the LEGO Foundation, and the MIT Media Lab have worked together for 35 years exploring how a hands-on, minds-on approach to learning empowers children to become creative lifelong learners. Resnick’s Lifelong Kindergarten research group has collaborated with the LEGO Foundation to develop technologies and resources that support equitable and engaging approaches to playful, creative learning for educators and children around the world. A formal partnership between the LEGO Foundation and the Scratch Foundation, a nonprofit organisation that grew out of Resnick’s Lifelong Kindergarten research group, is bringing learning through play to millions of children from all backgrounds through Scratch, the free block-based creative coding platform and online community that is now the world’s leading coding platform for children.

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“Throughout my career, I’ve always been inspired by the LEGO values of imagination, creativity, caring, and learning, so I’m deeply honored to receive the LEGO Prize. I plan to use the LEGO Prize to help spread the ideas, activities, and technologies of creative learning around the world.” said Mitchel Resnick, Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab, “But this award is not just for me. It is also for the many people I have worked with over the last 40 years: the dozens of researchers who have collaborated with me in developing technologies and activities to engage children in creative learning experiences; the thousands of educators around the world who have put our ideas and tools into practice; and the millions of children who have taken our technologies in directions we never imagined. We’ve learned as much from them as they’ve learned from us, and I share this prize with all of them.”

The prize was awarded at the annual LEGO Idea Conference, hosted by the LEGO Foundation. This year’s digital event brought together hundreds of partners from across the world, including researchers, government representatives, educators, and practitioners to discuss the need to work better together to achieve change– to give as many children as possible the opportunity to receive quality education.

“The theme of this year’s LEGO Idea Conference was Collaboration. We strongly believe that when we team up great things happen, and we wanted to use the conference to hear and learn from partners how they think we can better work together to support each other going into 2022 and beyond. The conference is part of our larger journey, “All in For All Kids”, which supports the achievement of the LEGO Foundation’s ambition to transform the lives of at least 75 million children each year with learning through play by 2032,” said Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO of the LEGO Foundation.

About the LEGO Foundation

The LEGO Foundation aims to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow; a mission that it shares with the LEGO Group. The LEGO Foundation is dedicated to building a future where learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners. Its work is about re-defining play and re-imagining learning. In collaboration with thought leaders, influencers, educators and parents the LEGO Foundation aims to equip, inspire and activate champions for learning through play. Learn more on www.LEGOfoundation.com.

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SOURCE LEGO Foundation