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LEGO Education® SPIKE™ Prime Activities

LEGO Education Spike Prime dancing robot and laptop in background

LEGO® bricks have been a staple resource in schools around the world since they were first manufactured in 1949. In recent years, the LEGO® Education team has continued to develop and support STEM learning experiences for our students by creating a range of products that incorporate technologies, robotics and computer programming. The LEGO product range is equipped with resources that will engage and empower students to learn to code from our youngest learners through to secondary school students.

LEGO Education provides a continuum of learning through its products:

Foundation / Prep / Kinder /Reception – Year 1
LEGO® Education Coding Express
LEGO Education Coding Express

Years 2 – 4
LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0

LEGO Education WeDO 2.0 Curriculum Solution

Years 5 – 8
LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Prime

LEGO Education SPIKE Prime Set

Years 6 – 12
LEGO® Mindstorms® Education EV3

 

LEGO EV3 Core Set

The LEGO Education Website has a range of lesson plans and challenges for students to develop their engineering and programming skills.

LEGO Education’s most recent product launch is the LEGO Education SPIKE Prime. This kit supports students to develop the essential STEM and 21st century skills needed to become the innovative, confident and creative minds of tomorrow.  SPIKE Prime forms part of the continuum that builds upon students’ prior knowledge of coding that they have developed through LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 block coding system.

Each SPIKE Prime kit can be used by a small group of students, preferably two to three students per group. The kit provides students with:

    • 528 pieces in a range of shapes and colours
    • 3 motors
    • 3 sensors
    • A series of data cables
    • Multi-port Hub that serves as the brain of the set
Multi-Port Hub Sensors Motors
6 x Input/Output ports
5 x 5 Light Matrix
6 x Axis Gyro
Speaker
1 x Colour/Light
1 x Distance/Ultrasonic
1 x Force/Touch
1 x Large
2 x Medium

The Hub connects to the LEGO Education SPIKE app via Bluetooth or USB. It is compatible across devices including iPad, computer and Chromebook, with the ability to carry multiple programs and be commanded to light up and play sounds. Extending the functionality of the Hub, there are six inputs/outputs to connect the motors or sensors to create movement, patterns and actions.

LEGO Spike Coding blocks on Laptop

The LEGO Education SPIKE app intuitively introduces students to coding and robotics. The four SPIKE Prime curriculum units engage students while developing design skills, problem solving and critical thinking skills. Each of these units can be implemented into classrooms with focus on real world relevance.

The four curriculum units are broken into:

Invention Squad

    • The Engineering Process

Kickstart a Business

    • Applying and Developing Computational Thinking Skills

Life Hacks

    • Working With Data Representation and Manipulation

Competition Ready

    • Getting Ready For Competitions and Challenges

LEGO Spike Curriculum Units

The LEGO Education SPIKE app includes a range of resources for both teachers and students, from lesson plans for teachers to templates that support students in building a range of creations using the kits.

Once students know the basic fundamentals of the kit, teachers can explore and integrate the skills learnt through the lesson plans and curriculum units to connect SPIKE Prime to other creative lesson ideas and challenges.

 

Six Lesson Ideas to Extend SPIKE Prime in the Classroom

Design a Mini Golf Course

LEGO Spike Golf Course featuring Spike model grean card and golf ball on floor

Materials required:

    • Cardboard
    • Masking tape
    • Scissors
    • Various art and craft materials
    • 1 x SPIKE Prime kit per group
    • Toy golf kits (1 per group)
  • In small groups, students sketch and design their own mini golf hole with a moving obstacle and sound effects.
  • Combine the holes of each group to create the mini golf course.
  • Students play and give feedback on each hole.

The result….


Create a Moving Animal

LEGO Spike Moving Animal on grass background

Materials required:

    • 1 x SPIKE Prime kit per group

Students work in pairs to create an animal of their choice.

    • Use the sensors to have the animal move away from different coloured LEGO blocks
    • Record animal sounds to play as the animal moves
    • Program their animal to move through a course

LEGO Spike Animal on grass background

Teachers can connect this challenge to various curriculum areas including endangered animals, ocean life, Australian animals etc.



Design a Sustainable House

Materials required:

    • Cardboard
    • Masking tape
    • Scissors
    • Various art and craft materials
    • 1 x SPIKE Prime kit per group

Students design and create a sustainable house.

    • Design a house using the SPIKE Prime kit
    • Include an object that moves or gives messages to support sustainability



Create a Futuristic Car

LEGO Spike Futuristic Car on homemade roadside featuring LEGO Duplo trees and animals

Materials required:

    • 1 x SPIKE Prime kit per group

Students will work in small groups to create a futuristic car

    • Sketch and design the car prior to constructing it
    • Use the ‘Driving Base’ building template within the LEGO SPIKE App to help build the base of their car
    • Add Sensors to create a self driving car



Code a Car Through a Racing Track

Materials required:

    • 1 x SPIKE Prime kit per group
    • Masking tape

Create 2-3 race tracks (depending on the size of your classroom) on the floor using masking tape.

    • Students design, create and program a racing car
    • Work in pairs
    • Use the ‘Driving Base’ building template within the LEGO SPIKE app to help them build the base of their car
    • Program and code their car to move around the race track

Extension:
Creating Obstacles on the Racing Track.
Materials required:

    • Sensor added to car
    • Coloured LEGO blocks

Using coloured LEGO blocks as obstacles, students can program their car to move around the track by adding the sensor to their car.

 

Create a Dancing Robot Dance Routine

LEGO Spike Dancing Robot with laptop showing Coding blocks in background

Materials required:

    • 1 x SPIKE Prime kit per group

Students will work in pairs and design their own robot. (Any students who find this difficult can use the template in the LEGO SPIKE app under BUILD – ‘Break Dancer’ to help them build a basic robot.)

    • Program the robot to move and dance to their chosen song or music
    • Record an original song by recording directly within the app
    • Host a dance competition

The end result…

 

How do you use SPIKE Prime in your classroom? We would love to hear from you!

 

About the author

Eleni Kyritsis is an award winning Year 3 teacher and Leader of Curriculum and innovation from Melbourne, Australia. Eleni facilitates professional learning workshops around the world that focus on unleashing creativity and curiosity in classrooms. You can contact her at elenikyritis.com and @misskyritsis

 

Featured Products:

LEGO® Education Coding Express

LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0

LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Prime

LEGO® Mindstorms® Education EV3

 

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LEGO Education® SPIKE™ Prime: A Teacher’s Experience

lego spike on laptop and tablet with models on class desk

Louise McKinnon, a Primary Digital and Design Technologies Teacher who works at Springfield Central State School in Queensland talks to us about her experience of using LEGO® Education SPIKE Prime™ in the classroom.

 

  • What do you see as the key benefits of having LEGO Education in your classroom?

LEGO Education provides a conceptual platform for the Digital and Design Technologies curriculum and enables authentic collaboration in the classroom. In our school, students use LEGO Education products from grade 1 to 6 in the Technology classroom which builds familiarity and enables them to feel confident to share ideas on how to engineer and program.

 

  • Why do you use LEGO Education in your school?

LEGO Education provides a multi-grade-level approach to students’ computational thinking in a logical manner. Moving from WeDo to SPIKE to EV3 Mindstorms allows students to begin with an easy entry point and progress to more complex thinking with technology. It allows students to feel safe to explore their creativity, not only through engineering and building with LEGO, but also within many other critical skills, such as teamwork, computational thinking, programming and more.

 

  • How easy was it to integrate SPIKE into your lessons?

Being a LEGO school, SPIKE was an effortless platform to integrate into our lessons. Building upon the simplistic tasks with WeDo for the older students in grade 3-4 was super easy as their knowledge grew. Tasks on the LEGO Education website also provided an easy scaffold to build lessons around.

 

lego spike trays with kids hands

 

  • How do children respond to using SPIKE?

The children love SPIKE! They love the colours and the simplicity of the software is super accessible and promotes engagement for all students. They also love how it is built to look like Scratch, as they are all familiar with Scratch from their lesson progression in the lower grades.

 

  • What does SPIKE teach children about coding and conditional thinking?

SPIKE allows students to code through Scratch blocks, which is very familiar to our students. The block colours and easy-to-understand language in the blocks has helped students more easily debug and methodically work through issues, which some students found too advanced with Mindstorms.

lego spike with laptop, tablet and model

  • What challenges/obstacles has LEGO Education SPIKE Prime solution helped you to overcome?

SPIKE serves as the bridge between WeDo and Mindstorms that had been missing. The jump from WeDo to EV3 Mindstorms was intimidating for some students in relation to both the mechanical and technical sides of the platform. SPIKE has allowed for an effortless transition that is an appealing invitation for students to engage with and build the skills needed to confidently interact with Mindstorms.

 

  • What type of engagement do you see in your children when they’re using LEGO in the classroom?

A lot! My students love the accessibility of SPIKE. They love how the blocks stand out and are super easy to find. The new addition of the donut block has allowed students to overcome engineering issues with ease, which has helped them to feel confident and creative with the product.

 

  • Can you explain your experience in using LEGO Education solutions that stretched across multiple learning standards?

LEGO Education has allowed students to work within many learning standards of the curriculum simultaneously due to the nature of the product. They are working within the Design and Technologies Knowledge and Understanding side of the curriculum through the computational thinking effect LEGO provides, while also engaging in the Design and Technologies Processes and Production Skills when they get to create and be hands-on with the product.

 

  • How does using SPIKE in your classroom enhance students’ engagement and motivation?

Students who felt disengaged and disheartened from the large leap to Mindstorms are now more engaged. They’re taking risks and becoming problem solvers due to the simplicity of the software and hardware components of SPIKE. The colours and fewer parts provide easier construction and navigation and less downtime troubleshooting.

 

  • Can you tell us about a time that you used SPIKE in your school and experienced an ‘aha moment’ with a student or group of students?

The aha moment has happened a lot within the programming stage of students’ creations. Younger students are now more readily able to understand and connect the coding blocks as they are very familiar with these through Scratch. The blocks are no longer ambiguous or hard for students to understand. Lots of aha moments and smiles.

 

  • What would you say to another teacher who is considering using SPIKE in their school?

Give it a go. Have a play for yourselves and see the benefits it can have for teaching by being active with it. It is an amazing hands-on tool and the best way to see its abilities in the classroom is for the teacher to also be hands-on with the product.

 

  • What three words best describe Spike?

Engaging, accessible and interactive.

 

Featured Product:

LEGO Education SPIKE Prime Set

 

Did you know that LEGO Education has over 400 FREE Lesson plans that can be sorted by Product, Grade and Subject.

Check them out here: https://education.lego.com/en-us/lessons

 

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How Do You Store Your LEGO®?

lego storage ev3 shelves open

LEGO® storage is important. Done badly and you will spend your days finding LEGO elements in the strangest places, dealing with frustrated kids telling you for the third time that they can’t find the grey thingumy-jig and dreading the day your admins ask you to update the school’s asset register.  Done correctly and your students will quickly find the elements they need, allowing them to stay focused and concentrate on addressing the challenges at hand.

Continue reading “How Do You Store Your LEGO®?”