A STEM Club like Aveea and LEGO… really?

After seeing some of the equipment we have at Aveea, it seems odd that we've gone back to LEGO... or is there something else here?
Aveea Sorting Challenge

More than a household name...

LEGOs are more than just a household name, they are one of, if not the, most successful toys out there. Whether it’s the creativity they lead you towards, or the engineer-like experience they provide, something about them just gets people going.

With all that success, it’s to no one’s surprise that they extend their reaches to other aspects—which is exactly what we’re going to be discussing here. The LEGO Spike takes the original beloved aspects of LEGO and combines that with code. With a friendly interface, a wealth of curated building materials, and brains oozing creativity, we get a recipe for success—and of course, we’ll be taking full advantage of that at Aveea.

So what exactly is the LEGO Spike, and why are we playing with LEGO at Aveea? Well, as we somewhat alluded to earlier, it truly is just as simple as LEGO with code… at first glance anyways. The LEGO Spike comes with a wide variety of pieces that you won’t find in your standard LEGO builds, they include specialised bricks, connectors, and gears, all designed to enable more creative and intricate builds. 

Aveea Sorting Challenge

But of course, none of that interacts with code, what really makes the LEGO Spike shine is with the included hub, which functions similarly to a mini-computer. This, paired with other inclusions such as motors and sensors, provides us with all the tools in the world to truly let our creativity flourish.

So what have we been doing at Aveea?

With all that out of the way, we can start talking about what we’ve been doing with them so far at Aveea. Our first sessions have been all about building oscillating table fans, which make full use of the motors in order to rotate and spin the fan. 

Having to build the fan itself and code it to correctly function is already a lot to accomplish, which is why this is a perfect first challenge for pupils to tackle. The build and code themselves aren’t particularly complex, in fact, they’re rather simple which makes this suitable for pupils to familiarise themselves with how the LEGO Spike works. The goal is clear, a fan which spins and oscillates. And you can bet that it’s satisfying to see it move and blow air… however little it’s blowing anyways, which is a great point to talk about the potential limitations of the LEGO Spike.

All this fancy technology and mechanics obviously have their limits. We can’t truly make a fan which keeps us cool with the LEGO Spike. Fans require sharp, thin blades to cut through the air and need to be spun at high, or even dangerously high, speeds to truly perform their job. 

Danger concerns aside, we clearly can’t achieve that with this LEGO kit, not to mention anything about the size, but does that make this pointless? Absolutely not. The fundamentals are all still the same, and while it can’t necessarily keep us cool, it does work exactly like a fan. With that knowledge and access to different materials, the potential to make a real functioning fan is there.

Aveea Lego Spike

It's Technology and Engineering in Harmony!

The LEGO Spike provides pupils with a condensed, simplified experience of how code can interact directly with engineering, and with it being scaled down it’s extremely safe and practical. One of the advantages of this means of teaching code is the ability to immediately see the results of your hard work, something we’ve always championed at Aveea. 

It’s immediate gratification, and the same can’t be said for some real-world situations. It’s not always possible for engineers to be able to see their work immediately, and that could be due to all sorts of complications, perhaps the time or cost it takes to create or gather specific materials. Sometimes the best they can do is look at simulations on a screen until then, definitely a different experience from what we’re going for with the LEGO Spike.

With the LEGO Spike being, well, LEGO, it provides pupils with a stress-free environment to explore coding and engineering at their own pace. LEGO has the advantage of being easily dismantled and reassembled, as opposed to other more consumable resources. There’s no need for pupils to worry that they’re wasting materials if they mess up, or if they want to try something new. 

This makes it a fantastic opportunity for pupils, and one which we will certainly be providing more often in the future. We have plenty more ideas to make full use of the LEGO Spikes’ potential beyond a simple table fan, and of course, pupils may have their own ideas in mind that they want to try out too. It’d be remiss of us to not let them after introducing them to such a fantastic piece of kit after all.

Aveea - Sorting Machine

Explore the world of STEM with us