There are an infinite number of uses for the traditional LEGO brick, but using the plastic toys for teaching robotics through STEM curriculums in the classroom has surged in popularity in the last decade—and the applications keep getting better and better.
With the introduction of the SPIKE Prime LEGO kit, the company aims to provide an onramp for introducing students in grades 6-8 to more advanced LEGO robotics applications. Unlike some of their more complex (and expensive) Mindstorms kits, SPIKE Prime teaches the basics using simpler, modified drag-and-drop coding based on the MIT Scratch language.
At the center of the kit is a smart hub which has six input/output ports, a 6-axis gyroscope, a rechargeable battery, Bluetooth connectivity, a 5×5 light matrix, and a speaker. This bad boy can be hooked up to all of your creations, which can then be powered using a combination of the SPIKE Prime kit’s three motors, three sensors, and 500 or so LEGO Technic pieces.
Unlike traditional LEGO kits that encourage users to jump right in with detailed build instructions, SPIKE users walk through a series of tutorials that cover both programming and building. Once caught up to speed, students then work on more advanced builds with fewer instructions and more wiggle room for creativity.
All coding is performed via the LEGO Education SPIKE app, which features a simplified drag-and-drop interface for students and educators to get accustomed to quickly. It works on Android and iOS devices, as well as Google Chrome, Mac, and Windows 10.
The whole shebang costs $329.95 – around $20 less than some of the LEGO Mindstorms kits. The LEGO SPIKE Prime set will be out this coming August 2019. Find out more on the exciting new kit over at LEGO.