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By 5 April 2019 | Categories: news

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Beyond the announcements of new smartphones, another, potentially even more far-reaching development was announced week, as LEGO Education debuted SPIKE Prime, a new hands on learning approach for classrooms.

Apparently there is a global challenge that children between the ages of 11 and 14 face, in that their confidence in learning wavers. Considering how essential learning is in our fast moving world, leaving this unattended in untenable.

To address the situation, LEGO Education explained that its new SPIKE Prime offering brings together LEGO bricks, a programmable, multi-port Hub, sensors and motors all powered by the engaging SPIKE app based on the Scratch coding language. The SPIKE app includes lessons aligned to certain standards and many within 45-minutes, making it easy for teachers to take SPIKE Prime into the classroom.

Hands-on is best

The question is, how and why would this build confidence in learning particularly? The answer has to do with the benefits of hand-on learning, one of which is that it builds confidence, according to a Confidence in Learning Poll, fielded by Harris Insights & Analytics.

According to the poll, 87% of students reported that they learn and remember topics more when the learning involved hands-on projects, while 93% of parents said they found that hands-on learning helped their children retain knowledge for the future. Additionally, while the importance of hands-on learning is clear, only 40% of teachers in the poll reported that their students usually or always get substantial time during the school day for hands-on lessons.

When it comes to STEAM learning specifically, teachers and parents agreed that the number one way their students can build confidence in STEAM subjects is working on a hands-on project with others. The poll further revealed that students who are confident in STEAM are more likely to be confident at school overall and enjoy learning new things.

Building the future

SPIKE Prime now joins the rest of the LEGO Education portfolio, in a specific aim to designed to get students hands-on with lessons that challenge them to think critically and creatively, to problem solve and to communicate effectively with others. In other words, all the core skills that we keep hearing are critical to the working world in the digital age.

The company elaborated that each SPIKE Prime set has 523 pieces which can be used to build many different creations including corresponding Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) lesson plans that were created by and for educators. The overarching objective is clear - help them bring more hands-on STEAM learning into their curriculum and get students more engaged and excited about STEAM subjects.

“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. And for teachers, time is the ultimate barrier. The lesson plans, resources and models make it so easy for teachers to integrate SPIKE Prime into the classroom,” he enthused.

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