SPIKE™ Prime Set

Watch Your Steps

Explore kinetic energy during a movement at constant speed.

45-90 min.
Grades 6-8
Watch your steps - Lesson Header

Prepare for Blended Learning

(Before the Lesson)

  • If you feel that it is necessary, plan a lesson using the getting started material in the app. This will help to familiarise you and your pupils with SPIKE Prime.

  • Watch the lesson video on this page.

  • Read through the pupil material for this lesson in the SPIKE App or via the link on this page.

  • You might wish to consider:

    • Choosing the right tool(s) and the right place. For example, watching videos, reading a textbook or preparing for a hands-on experience can easily be done at home. Performing the experiment and collecting data ‘hands-on’ is easier in a classroom setting.
    • Using a variety of tools and allowing for broad differentiation. This will increase your pupils' engagement and improve their learning outcomes.
    • Providing various methods of virtual collaboration. Here are some examples:
      • Videoconferencing
      • Blogs, chats or wall posts
      • Digital versions of pupil worksheets
    • Adapting the lesson flow to account for not being in a classroom setting throughout the entire lesson. We have provided an example lesson flow below.
  • Here are some other ways you can adapt the lesson flow to suit your pupils’ needs:
    • Have your pupils watch the videos describing what they are about to do. You can point them to the SPIKE App or use the pupil worksheet URL.
    • Provide other material that you have already prepared on this topic.
    • Customise the Inventor Notebook to have your pupils prepare their learning experience and reflect on their findings (please see Additional Resources).
    • Use the lesson brief (a printable 1-page lesson overview) to inspire your pupils with an open-ended challenge (please see Additional Resources).


(Before the Lesson, 20 Min.)

  • This lesson explores the kinetic energy of a person who has walking at a constant speed. Your pupils will start by measuring the number of steps they have taken. They will use that value to calculate the distance that has been travelled, the average walking speed and average kinetic energy value for that motion. The Hub has an internal accelerometer that can detect movement on the 3 axes (i.e. up-down, left-right, front-back). When the Hub is clipped to someone's hip, it moves as they walk and records acceleration values. The resulting graph shows the minimum and maximum values of the recorded acceleration values. The precision of these minimum and maximum values will depend on the vertical position of the Hub while the person is walking. The ‘step count’ precision will depend on the quality of these minimum and maximum values, and the calibrating values that have been used in the program.

  • Use various materials to engage your pupils on the topic of kinetic energy.

Ignite a Discussion

Start a discussion by asking questions related to the lesson. Here are a few suggestions:

  • How can you measure how fast you are walking?
  • How can you measure or calculate the energy of an object in motion?
  • Which type of energy is that?

Have your pupils write down their thoughts as a hypothesis.


(During the Lesson, 30 Min.)

  • Have your pupils build a pedometer that can count the number of steps they have taken. They can create their own models or follow the building instructions in the app to build the Pedometer model.
  • Ask your pupils to try out their models using the suggested program.
  • Tell them to look at the graph of acceleration over time and describe what a ‘step’ is.


(During the Lesson, 15 Min.)

  • Allow your pupils some time to adjust their programs to improve their performance.
  • Encourage them to record as much data as possible during their experiments.
  • Have them export their data as a CSV file so that they can manipulate it using other software if they wish.


(After the Lesson, 25 Min.)

  • If your pupils still have access to their SPIKE Prime Sets, have them complete the tasks given in the SPIKE App. This will help them to elaborate on their learning with a bit of hands-on activity. Here are some examples:
    • Ask them to illustrate their kinetic energy as they walk or as part of their program. As one option, they can program the docking station to accomplish this task.
  • If your pupils do not have access to their sets, have them complete their Inventor Notebooks, or assign one of the extension activities that has been suggested below. Most of the extension activities can be done using the data that was collected during the hands-on session
  • Facilitate a sharing session in which your pupils exchange information. This can be done using whichever method/tool is the most efficient (i.e. in-person or online).


  • Give feedback on each pupil's performance.
  • To simplify the process, you can use the assessment rubrics that have been provided.

Assessment Opportunities

Teacher Observation Checklist
Establish a scale that suits your needs, for example:

Partially accomplished
Fully accomplished

Use the following success criteria to evaluate your pupils' progress:

  • The pupils can program a device that logs data on a line graph.
  • The pupils can interpret the values coming from the line graph.
  • The pupils can explain kinetic energy in relation to speed.

Have each pupil choose the brick that they feel best represents their performance.

  • Blue: I am able to graph data using the program that has been provided in the app.
  • Yellow: I am able to create my own line graph and explain my results.
  • Violet: I have created new experiments on my own.

Peer Feedback

Encourage your pupils to provide feedback to one another by:

Having one pupil use the coloured brick scale above to score another pupil’s performance.
Asking them to present constructive feedback to one another so that they can improve their group’s performance during the next lesson. This is an excellent opportunity to use videoconferencing tools or blog posting tools in a blended learning scenario.



Simplify this lesson by:

  • Asking your pupils to recreate the experiment using only the Hub. The data should be relevant for counting steps as long as the Hub is held perpendicular to the ground.

Take this lesson to the next level by:

  • Asking your pupils to build their own pedometers
  • Having your pupils repeat the experiment using a phone or a tablet as a pedometer, then comparing the results of both experiments
  • This will require an app that can visualize the device's sensor values


Building Tips


Coding Tips
Using Download Mode
This lesson is designed to be played in Download Mode. The Download Mode allows for a higher sample rate of data collection by the Hub. This means that the line graph has a better resolution. It also means that the data set must be imported after the program has been stopped.

Using the Stop Block to Automatically Transfer Data Sets
If your device is connected via Bluetooth, using this block will end your program and trigger the collected data sets to be uploaded from the Hub to your device. If you are using a USB connection, you must manually upload the data sets to your device.

SPIKE PRIME Science Stop Block - en

Main Program

SPIKE Prime Science Watch your Steps - Step03 - en-au

Science Data Tips

Here is an example of the data your pupils can expect from this experiment.



Maths Extension

To incorporate the development of maths skills:

  • Ask your pupils the identify the elements of their experiments that required approximation. Tell them to keep in mind that step lengths are not always consistent and that pedometers have a limited rate of success (i.e. they are precise within a margin of error).
  • Have your pupils determine how an optimal graph of a person walking would look.

Note: This will require additional time.


Language Arts Extension

To incorporate the development of language arts skills:

  • Ask your pupils to research how smartwatches or smartphones count and record steps. Have them write a short explanation of how the technology works, including the percentage of error.
  • Have your pupils explore how pattern recognition, from an AI point of view, helps these smart devices to detect steps.

Note: This will require additional time.


Career Links

The pupils who enjoyed this lesson might be interested in exploring these career pathways:

  • Therapeutic Services
  • Engineering & Technology

Teacher Support

The pupils will:
• Learn to recognise the number of steps that have been taken, as shown in an acceleration graph over time
• Convert a step count into the average speed and average kinetic energy when walking

LEGO® Education SPIKE Prime Set
Device with the LEGO Education SPIKE App installed

Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed

Energy appears in different forms, including movement (kinetic energy), heat and potential energy, and energy transformations and transfers cause change within systems.

Solve problems involving direct proportion. Explore the relationship between graphs and equations corresponding to simple rate problems.

Plot linear relationships on the Cartesian plane with and without the use of digital Technologies.

Solve linear equations using algebraic and graphical techniques. Verify solutions by substitution.

Given coordinates, plot points on the Cartesian plane, and find coordinates for a given point.

Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative, and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas.

Create imaginative, informative, and persuasive texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate.

Define and decompose real world problems taking into account functional requirements and economic, environmental, social, technical and usability constraints.

Analyse and visualise data using a range of software to create information, and use structured data to model objects or events.

Select and justify choices of materials, components, tools, equipment, and techniques to effectively and safely make designed solutions.

Independently develop criteria for success to evaluate design ideas, processes and solutions and their sustainability.

Pupil Material

Student Worksheet

Download, view or share as an online HTML page or a printable PDF.