LEGO Education’s new SPIKE Prime Set is a STEAM learning tool for students in grades 6–8. 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, SPIKE Prime helps students learn the essential STEAM and 21st century skills needed to become the innovative minds of tomorrow while having fun. LEGO envisions students in the classroom working in pairs on creations that range from a breakdancing robot to a weather forecaster to a grasshopper-like racing module. There are 33 lesson plans in all, each structured to last 45 minutes. The $330 kit contains 523 pieces—an expansion kit ups the total to 603—that are color-coded to help guide the middle school audience through the process of sorting out which does what. A yellow centralized hub drives the action; all the wheels are blue, the sensors black, and so on. The lesson plans cover not just the creation of models but also ways to incorporate them into math and language arts studies. For example, in the lesson “What Is This,” students construct a motor that moves a ring around. The goal isn’t just to build something simple and abstract; it’s for students to use their imaginations to describe what they’ve made. The SPIKE Prime Set may be preordered today; it ships in August 2019.
Designed by Root Robotics, Root is a fun and easy-to-use educational robot that teaches coding, creativity, and problem-solving skills to students, from prereaders through high school. The robot bumps, hears, moves, draws, scans, climbs, reacts, and sees, helping students learn, play, and explore using their imagination.
The Mini Urban Challenge RVW is a virtual simulation based on a national competition sponsored by The Doolittle Institute, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and Special Operations Command. The purpose of this competition is to design and program a robotic vehicle that can autonomously navigate a mini-urban city, using a virtualLEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robot.