LEGO Spike Pilot in Joensuu

Training, learning, innovating, having fun!

After the Kick-off event, we have used the Prime sets with the students, and we have also held a few training/planning sessions of our own. The main focus has been on pedagogical development. We have participated in teams meetings of the FCL network and presented Finland’s activities. In Finland, the situation is much better from a development point of view, as in many countries teaching is carried out remotely and for the time being, we are able to work with our students at school.

Hands-on in schools

At Rantakylä Training School, Lego spike series have been used by elective students for future e-learning environments and technology club members. In both groups, the pupils have been from 5th to 6th grade. The groups have been directed by Ville Eronen and Teija Paavilainen.

In the past, the ”little sibling” of the Spike series, the Lego WeDo 2.0 series, has been used with students. WeDo is a simple, easy-to-deploy series that guides you step by step. In its simplicity, it inspires experimenting and  creative solutions. At our school, the WeDos are in use starting from first grade. The challenges provide additional motivation even for older students. Speed Races and Robot Dances, according to the students’ own interests, have inspired intensive construction, development and programming.

Experiences with Spike series

The Spike series has received a hugely enthusiastic reception in all groups. The color of the series, the ease of use of the application and clear instructions in Finnish give many opportunities for the students. The bravest immediately start creating and experimenting themselves, beginners go to follow the building instructions and learn through them.

The Spike series and the app that controls its use, are similarly easy for the teacher to deploy. In addition, new engines, sensors and a wide range of versatile Lego bricks for building inspire students and teachers to come up with creative solutions. In addition to enthusiastic construction, programming can sometimes remain a minor role – at that point, teacher guidance and good additional challenges are needed. For example, one challenge was to plan a safety distancing instrument in the times of the Covid-19.

The Spike series also offers great challenges all the way up to upper secondary school. Especially in programming, the teacher’s own competence is also tested. LEGO Education has an extensive support website for various projects and offers lesson plans and pedagogical tips. The material needed for students is also available on the website (work sheets and such). Visit the Lego Education website if you haven’t done so before.

Future

The Lego Spike series app has a lot of ready-made ideas suitable for science and STEAM teaching. Topics include automatization, weather conditions and its measurement (utilization of cloud data) and environmental education. The project instructions are not fully completed, but direct you to make observations, improve and modify the program. For various innovation and maker projects, the set is also ideal for both primary schools and upper secondary schools.

In Joensuu, Lego expertise will be deepened, and the goal is to implement the contents of the programming path (from the National Curriculum) with the Spike series for 7th graders. The official part of the pilot is coming to an end but the development and LEGO-boom are just starting!