When it comes to mixing business and pleasure, no one is doing it quite like Lego. The company has long emphasized the learning potential of its sets, and there’s even a full Lego Education program dedicated to creating Lego kits meant to teach kids about STEAM (that’s Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics).
Today Lego Education announced Spike Essential, an educational set designed for younger students. The $280 kit can be shared between two students at a time and offers a full eight-lesson learning sequence for elementary school classrooms.
“We are delighted to introduce a complete learning system that enriches the teaching and learning experience,” said Esben Staerk, president of Lego Education. “At a time when everyone is rethinking how to invigorate education, we believe the Lego Learning System will spark joy and a love of learning in students that never stops.”
All about the storytelling — Spike Essential isn’t your run-of-the-mill Lego set, it’s an entire mini STEAM curriculum that happens to use Lego building blocks as its base. Overall, the set focuses on storytelling as an educational technique, allowing students to solve various problems through play.
Each of the kit’s five units has a theme: Great Adventures, Amazing Amusement Park, Happy Traveler, Crazy Carnival Games, and Quirky Creations. There are seven or eight lessons in each, depending on the unit, complete with an introduction and an open-ended project at the end. All in all, each unit provides six to 10 hours of content, for a total of more than 50 combined hours of lessons. There’s even an extra half-hour extension in either language, arts, or math for each lesson.
And that’s just the beginning — Spike Essential is expansive enough to stand on its own. A classroom looking to invest in the kits will surely take into account the fact that it can provide 50+ hours of educational lessons.
It’s also only the beginning of Lego’s educational offerings. A number of other STEAM-focused kits — like the BricQ Motion Essential, which teaches kids about physical science — are available for extending Lego’s place in your K-5 classroom.
If there’s anything that might stop schools from investing in these sets, it’s the price. Paying $280 for every two students might just not be feasible for some elementary schools. The good news is that Lego does offer a number of resources to help administrators find funding for the sets — complete with grant-writing tips and information on third-party funding sites.
The Spike Essentials kit is available for pre-order beginning today in the U.S. It’ll be available for purchase in all markets where Lego is available come this fall.