LEGO Education: Introducing the LEGO Learning System to the Modern Classroom

LEGO Education: Introducing the LEGO Learning System to the Modern Classroom

LEGO Education: Introducing the LEGO Learning System to the Modern Classroom

LEGO Education: Introducing the LEGO Learning System to the Modern Classroom

STEM (Science, technology, engineering and maths) is more prevalent than ever. As the academic and professional world evolves, it’s only natural that we rethink how to establish and maintain subjects in this field. While they’ve always had a prominent place in our society, STEM subjects have truly come to the fore in recent years. That’s why it’s more important than ever to introduce them at a young age.

Enthusiasm naturally comes from engagement. Engagement comes from practical, explorative learning using dynamic techniques. Essentially, children need a carefully-mixed cocktail of enjoyment and education. LEGO has been around for a while, of course, but recently it’s been entirely reimagined. This reimagination has happened for a reason. STEM subjects are riding an exciting wave, and the earlier children can grasp these subjects, the more prepared they’ll be for a STEM-orientated future.


What is the LEGO Learning System?

So, it’s near-impossible to be unaware of LEGO in this day and age. However, the LEGO Learning System is something that may have slipped under the radar for those outside of the educational sphere. Ultimately, the LEGO Learning System is designed to be used in classrooms, afterschool programs, and at home. It covers a wide range of subjects (including STEM subjects) but even branches toward language arts, social studies, and more.

The system incorporates various learning strategies such as hands-on building, experimentation, and problem-solving challenges. It’s designed to be flexible and adaptable, allowing educators and parents to customise the learning experience to fit the needs of their children. While LEGO Education has been working closely with educational specialists for 40 years, technological enhancements in particular have caused it to burst onto the academic scene in recent years.


How can the LEGO Learning System be incorporated in the classroom?

When it comes to making an outright decision regarding how to introduce the LEGO Learning system to young students, a few things should be considered:


  • What’s the age group of the students?
  • What learning objectives should be achieved?
  • What skills are being employed?
  • Does the curriculum align with the proposed objectives?

Just to name a few. As a result, one of the most important steps lies with the very first decision: what LEGO set is the most appropriate with these considerations in mind? Fortunately, there are different options that can be considered to bring about the best outcomes for any student.


Choosing the LEGO Education set that fits your needs

Here, the aim is to explore two LEGO Education SPIKE sets. So, what are SPIKE sets, exactly? LEGO Education Spike sets are a series of educational robotics kits designed for students in primary and secondary schools. These sets include LEGO bricks and components, sensors, and motors that can be used to build robots and other machines. The SPIKE sets also come with a programmable controller that students can use to write code to control their robots.


The SPIKE sets are designed to teach students about robotics, engineering, and computer programming in a fun and engaging way. They can be used in a variety of classroom settings, including STEM classes. There are different SPIKE sets available, each designed for different age ranges and skill levels. The sets range from beginner-level sets for younger students to more advanced sets for older students. Some of the sets also include curriculum materials and lesson plans to help teachers integrate the Spike sets into their classroom instruction. With this in mind, let’s explore a SPIKE set aimed at younger children.


LEGO Education SPIKE Essential Set (Years 2-6)

 Primarily aimed at children in years 2-6 (with scope for progression) this specific set is the perfect introduction to the LEGO Learning System. Described as the ‘cross-curricular STEM solution for primary education, this set promotes practical investigation of early STEM concepts, while also combining literacy and social-emotional development.

For example, aspects of storytelling through Minifigures can supplement learning units that are closely aligned with the given curriculum. Problem-solving skills are enhanced through traditional building elements typically found with LEGO, while hardware can be introduced (with software such as the SPIKE app) to provide a well-rounded approach to exciting, new concepts.

With five different unit plans, LEGO Education SPIKE Essential provides comprehensive guidance throughout the learning process. For more information, you can view the unit plans here.


LEGO Education SPIKE Prime Set (Years 7-9 OR Key Stage 3)

Climbing further up the academic ladder, the LEGO Education SPIKE Prime Set targets children a bit further on in their educational journey. What makes the LEGO Learning System so effective is its malleable nature. As such, this specific set takes familiar building elements, simple hardware, and coding language to engage students in secondary school. The act of play is important for any young learner, and this SPIKE set incorporates that at an age-appropriate level, so students can think critically and solve complex problems.

 The aim with this set is to combine fluidity and ease of access with borderless creativity. For example, Python is introduced, allowing students to hone their text-based coding skills alongside immersive, hands-on activities. Essentially, it promotes the importance of developing 21st-century skills through fun, engaging activities. One example of a provided lesson plan includes the ‘Hopper Race’. Here, pairs of children aim to create various prototypes that can allow a robot to move without using wheels.


Scaling your LEGO Education implementation


Ultimately, the LEGO Learning System offers a vast array of benefits for young students, spanning across many year groups. With this in mind, it’s important to be mindful of the system’s relevant benefits, aligning them with age-appropriate methods. By doing so, children can experience a range of educational advantages, including improved problem-solving skills, increased creativity and innovation, and enhanced spatial awareness (to name a few).


It’s also important to note that using LEGO Education sets beyond a child's age range may cause frustration and create potential barriers, so choosing the right set is crucial. Take the time to select appropriate sets from the LEGO Learning System, offering a challenging and rewarding experience for children at their current developmental level. By utilising the innovative System in this manner, we can help to ensure that children have the best possible foundation for future learning and development. 

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