At an education event in New York today, LEGO announced the launch of Education Spike. The company’s latest STEAM offering is designed for use in classroom settings — specifically grades sixth through eighth (~ages 11 to 14).
The kits combine LEGO bricks with sensors, motors and the “Prime Hub.” In spite of a title that sounds like it was created by an Amazon name generator, the product is essentially the working “brain” of all Spike creations.
It features a 100MHz processor, accelerometer, gyroscope, speaker, display and six input/output ports. The system is controlled on a mobile device via an app, which also features a number of 45-minute lessons to get students started and help them design programs using Scratch.
“We are seeing a challenge globally in middle school children, typically aged 11 – 14,” LEGO Education head Esben Stærk Jørgensen said in a release tied to the news. “At that age, children start losing their confidence in learning. The Confidence Poll data shows that most students say if they failed at something once, they don’t want to try again. With Spike Prime and the lessons featured in the SPIKE app, these children will be inspired to experiment with different solutions, try new things and ultimately become more confident learners.”
The system is available for pre-order starting today. It starts shipping in August.