It’s a lucky kid indeed who gets to use a robot made of lego to do their math homework, but for Chelsea Hagan it’s just one step further in learning and retaining information.

The only student in her class with cerebral palsy, Hagan, 14, uses the robot to learn math and measurement. Her head is her most controlled member of her body, which she uses to tap sensors alongside her head to communicate and manipulate a complex computer attached to her chair.

Using this computer, Chelsea is able to control the robot with infrared sensors built into her communication device.

The robot is part of a larger program designed by Dr. Al Cook and Dr. Kim Adams to enable those with cerebral palsy to learn by doing. Kinesthetic learning is a major fundamental advantage for retaining information.

“If you have no use of your hands it’s a difficult process to learn,“ said Dr. Al Cook, professor in the department of speech pathology and audiology in the faculty of medicine at the University of Alberta. “You can imagine if you had only to watch and never to do, you would learn a significantly smaller amount of things.”

For Chelsea it means being able to physically manipulate objects to better grasp the concepts of space and length.

Chelsea’s mother, Debbie Hagan, loves the robot for another good reason. “It lets her have toys and be able to play with them,” said Hagan. “She’s always a little entrepreneur. She sells her earring trees. Her favorite show is Dragon’s Den.”