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2 Minute Summary: Lego's Newest Set Lets Kids Build Robots - and Confidence

Today's article comes from Wired magazine that focuses on how technology affects culture, the economy, and politics. Lego's Newest Set Lets Kids Build Robots - and Confidence is written by Brian Barrett, a news editor at Wired.

If you’re interested in adding one more STEM tool to your classroom, Lego has good news for you. Earlier this month they announced the release of their new coding and robotics set, Lego Spike Prime. This Lego set provides students and teachers with tools to support STEM in the classroom.

Spike Prime versus Lego Mindstorms

Maybe you’ve already gotten your feet wet with Lego Mindstorms, another Lego tool for building and programming different robots. In his article, Barrett describes Mindstorms as more complex Lego set with a science fiction theme and color scheme. While Mindstorms attracts a certain audience, Spike Prime was designed to have wider appeal. Spike Prime allows kids to program robots using colorful blocks, user friendly shapes, and intuitive drag-and-drop programming tools. Lego's intentional design choices for Spike Prime allow it to be a more approachable tool for everyone.

Lego Spike Prime provides kids and teachers with tools to support STEM at school.

Classroom Use

Spike Prime can easily be used in classrooms as it comes with over thirty lesson plans for teachers. Through these lessons, students can learn to program robots to do a variety of different actions. Barrett mentions that students can program their robots to dance or race each other. In addition, Spike Prime allows teachers to easily integrate math and literacy into these lessons.

What’s in it for kids?

According to Barrett’s article, Spike Prime provides lots of opportunities for students to engage in challenging tasks. Spike Prime lessons also push students to learn through a lot of trial and error experimentation to determine what works. Kids learn to keep trying to discover workable solutions, which encourages them to persevere and embrace mistakes. Students learn how to persist even when their code doesn't work immediately, which is reflective of real engineering work in my opinion!

Lego Spike Prime can help kids to develop STEM skills in coding and robotics through kid friendly tools. It's a resource worth looking into and maybe adding to your DonorsChoose list.

P.S. - If Lego Spike Prime isn't your cup of tea, there are a few other companies that offer similar coding and robotics products for the classroom. Other resources mentioned in the article include LittleBits, Osmo, Kano, and Sphero.

Happy innovating!