Educators are constantly looking to find new ways to get students excited about learning and engaged with their material, and LEGO is here to help them out. Today, LEGO announced their newest product and it's tailored for the classroom: LEGO Education SPIKE Prime, a programmable robotics kit created to teach students to code, think critically, and problem-solve while building and animating mini robots.
This new product from LEGO is tailored for STEAM lessons, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics. Conceptualized and created by a team of scientists, educational content developers, and teachers, the SPIKE Prime kit was designed with middle schoolers in mind — and for good reason. A study conducted by The Harris Poll in February of this year polled 5,002 students, 5,001 parents and 1,152 teachers from five different countries about their confidence surrounding STEAM subjects. The results? Only 17 percent of students reported feeling "very confident" about learning STEAM subjects, and 76 percent of teachers found this lack of confidence a hindrance to a student's learning. LEGO Education hopes their new creation will help sixth through eighth graders remain confident and interested in STEAM subjects, and their academics in general, through fun, hands-on, engaging classroom projects.
"The SPIKE Prime solution brings together LEGO bricks, a programmable, multi-port Hub, coding language based on Scratch and STEAM learning units to help students of all learning levels build confidence and critical thinking skills," LEGO Education's website states. The kit come with a variety of activities and pre-built lesson plans that will walk students through the process of coding to create robots from walking to winking to dancing. The app utilizes a drag-and-drop coding system based on the Scratch programming language, and is compatible with iOS, Chrome, Windows 10, Mac, and Android. While SPIKE Prime comes with all necessary pieces and hardware, its compatibility with classic LEGO pieces means students can get creative designing bigger, more elaborate masterpieces.
LEGO has created intuitive lesson plans that are as easy for the teachers to lead as they are fun for students to complete. Each plan is user-friendly, and tells teachers how much time to allot for each specific activity. Educators can also rest assured that these lessons were created with normal school periods in mind, and "most SPIKE Prime’s standards-aligned lessons can be completed within a 45-minute class period – including building and coding," states LEGO Education's website. The comprehensive lesson plans include thorough directions, tips and tricks, additional activities, and discussion points.
While the SPIKE Prime kit is designed for classroom use, it's certainly not limited to that. Because it will be available on Lego Education's website, it will be available for use in home-schooling environments, after-school programs, and — of course — for enthusiasts who just want to partake in the fun.
The LEGO Education SPIKE Prime Set comes with everything you need to get building, coding, and learning: 523 bricks, the programmable Hub, motors, sensors, storage box, sorting trays, and more. It is currently available for pre-order from the Lego Education website for $330, and will start shipping in August.