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For her senior honors thesis, Davis Straske '19 researched and wrote about the development of empathy in young boys-- finding that when young boys were able to play with baby dolls, they developed stronger empathy. She submitted her thesis and was featured on the WBUR (Boston NPR) website and radio show - Go Davis!!

Here's a link to read more about it: 

Last week, we visited Fairfield Elementary through the Rockbridge County YMCA after school program. It was our first ever visit to Fairfield, and we had a great time!

We split up into stations to learn about the various components of LEGOs: from spatial skills, to creativity, to mental rotation!

So far, our lab has visited Enderly Heights Elementary School to teach our lesson on emotions, and Natural Bridge Elementary School to teach our lesson on spatial skills with LEGOs.

Our new lab member Graham made his community outreach debut in the emotions play, written by our friends at Enderly Heights!

At Natural Bridge, we saw some of the best LEGO free play creations!

Thank you to Rockbridge County YMCA for letting us host these lessons!

The Fulcher lab is in the early stages of a new project -- a toy library for the families of Rockbridge County! If you have any STEM toys for children of all ages that you'd like to donate, please contact us at

We would greatly appreciate your gently used toys and ideas for toys that promote STEM learning!

Happy holidays from the Fulcher lab! Our developmental research team put together a gift and book guide for this holiday season. We've found books and toys for children ages 3 to 5 that support children's social, cognitive, and spatial development, as well as books that provide new perspectives for young children. We hope you'll find a great gift for your children this holiday season!

Click here to open the full guide:  full gift guide 2018

So far it's been a busy fall for the Fulcher Lab, but we've got plenty more events to look forward to!

Wednesday, October 31: Main Street Lexington's Halloween trick-or-treat! Find us outside the W&L Business Office with candy, a LEGO photo spot, and a LEGO give-away!

Friday, November 2: Fulcher Lab babysitting night! Join us for pizza, games, and toy study participation (with parent permission). Email the lab ( to register!

And, we'll be visiting some Rockbridge county schools teaching lessons on psychology, LEGOs, optical illusions, and more. We hope to see you soon!