One of the brands that seem to transcend to all people of all ages is LEGO. I am continually amazed by how the company continues to create unique products. LEGO Harry Potter products are some of my all-time favorites, and my kids play with LEGO products almost every day. LEGO products aren’t just for offline play, though. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been testing the LEGO Spike Prime education kit.
About Making The Grade: Every other Saturday, Bradley Chambers publishes a new article about Apple in education. He has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.
Over the past ten years, we’ve all realized that kids need a balance with offline play and online play. Thanks to companies like LEGO and Osmo, kids are now able to blend them. It’s not just about staring at a screen but rather creating and seeing it come to life on an iPad.
The LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Prime Set is the go-to STEAM learning tool for grade 6–8 students. Combining colorful LEGO building elements, easy-to-use hardware, and an intuitive drag-and-drop coding language based on Scratch, SPIKE Prime continuously engages students through playful learning activities to think critically and solve complex problems, regardless of their learning level. From easy-entry projects to limitless creative design possibilities, including the option to explore text-based coding with Python, SPIKE Prime helps students learn the essential STEAM and 21st century skills needed to become the innovative minds of tomorrow… while having fun!
The kit includes over 500 pieces and countless hours of activities to go along with it. There are numerous programming activities for kids that help them build something and make it come to life using the LEGO Spike app. Every creation starts with the Spike hub that pairs over Bluetooth, then all of the projects build off of it.
Last week, I was able to begin using the new training trackers unit. When I first received the kit, that wasn’t available, so that’s an important thing to keep in mind: it’s continually evolving without the need to purchase any additional items. The training trackers unit has been my absolute favorite thing I’ve used with the LEGO Spike Prime education kit. Have you ever wanted to build your own Fitbit style device? Now you can. Have you ever wanted to create a yoga ring? Now you can. In the unit, there are seven different activities you can do.
One of the essential items I was looking for when first using this unit was how easy is it to use in a classroom environment? LEGO has done a great job of creating content that helps teachers of all skill sets to create lesson plans by showing the expected time, equipment needed, and guides them through the entire lesson.
Overall, the kit is a fantastic value. It provides many opportunities for kids to build objects and use age-appropriate coding tools to make them come to life. It might not be feasible to have an entire classroom set at the price point. However, even if just as a center in a STEM lab, it can provide for hours of activities. The app is well done and easy enough for kids to use on their own without needing a teacher’s help.
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