LEGO Education is kicking off its 40th anniversary celebration with the debut of its latest innovation for middle school classrooms.

Previewed last spring, LEGO Education Spike Prime is designed to help students in grades 6-8 “build confidence and develop the essential STEAM and 21st-century skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing workforce.” The system includes teacher training, getting started guides, and free lesson plans to get classrooms up and running.

LEGO Education“While a lot has changed in the 40 years since LEGO Education was formed, the mission we committed to is as relevant today as it was then,” says Esben Stærk, president, LEGO Education. “Playful learning is at the heart of the company, and we have always believed that hands-on learning builds the confidence and skillset children need. With the acceleration of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), and automation, it’s more important than ever to equip teachers with solutions and resources like SPIKE Prime that engage all students in STEAM learning and develop the skills required in the 21st-century job market.”

Each LEGO Spike starter set can be shared by two students at a time. The platform marries physical play with LEGO pieces with digital learning through the drag-and-drop Scratch coding platform available for iOS, Chrome, Windows 10, Mac and Android. The set includes 11 brand-new LEGO elements that make their debut in Spike Prime. Additionally, the LEGO Education Spike Prime Expansion Set and Competition Ready unit can be used in competition by robotics competition teams, including FIRST LEGO League and World Robot Olympiad.