SPIKE™ Prime Set

The Crane Mission

Coach your team through a real FIRST LEGO League mission and prepare them for the challenges that are to come!

45-90 min.
Years 7-9 or Key Stage 3

Lesson plan

1. Prepare

  • Read through the pupil material in the LEGO® Education SPIKE App.
  • To complete this lesson, your pupils could use the Advanced Driving Base model along with the Dozer Blade and Lift Arm attachments.

2. Engage (10 Min.)

  • Use the ideas in the Ignite a Discussion section below to engage your pupils in a discussion relating to this lesson.
  • Use the video to explain the lesson.

3. Explore (30 Min.)

  • Ask them to set up the Crane model on the game field.
  • Have them follow the instructions to write a program that will drive their robot to the Crane and activate it.

4. Explain (10 Min.)

  • Facilitate a discussion about the key functionalities of the robot in triggering the Crane to drop the Building Units.

5. Elaborate (40 Min.)

  • Have each team practice lining up their robot and sending it on a mission to activate the Crane.
  • Ask if they noticed anything that they should be especially aware of for this mission (e.g. the crane can be rotated before activating so that it drops the building module in a different location).
  • Prompt a discussion about how they could rotate the Crane before activating it.
  • Don't forget to leave some time for tidying up.

6. Evaluate

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

Ignite a Discussion

Use these questions to engage your pupils in a discussion about how they can use what they've already learned to successfully complete this mission:

  • What's the robot doing?
  • How does the robot reach the Crane?
  • How does the robot activate the Crane?
  • What's the ideal balance between speed and accuracy for this mission?

Have your pupils watch this video to see what they're about to do.


Building Tips

Setting Up the Crane Model
Share these tips with your pupils as they're setting up the Crane:

  • Make sure that the Crane is built correctly and operates as it should.
  • Carefully apply the Dual Lock and correctly position the Crane on the mat.

Activating the Crane

  • Try activating the blue levers to ensure that the Crane releases and pivots smoothly.
  • Reset your Crane after each activation.

Setting Up the Crane on the Mat
Here's the correct position of the Crane model on the playing surface:


Coding Tips

Main Program

SPIKE Competition Ready The Crane Step03-Program - en-gb

Possible Solution

SPIKE Competition Ready The Crane Teacher-Solution - en-gb


Simplify this lesson by:

  • Focusing on the robot's accuracy in following the line to reach the Crane
  • Solving one part of the mission as a group with your pupils

Take this lesson to the next level by:

  • Challenging your pupils to rotate the Crane before activating it
  • Assigning another one of this year's FIRST LEGO League challenges to be done before or after this mission

Assessment Opportunities

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

  1. Partially accomplished
  2. Fully accomplished
  3. Overachieved

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

  • The pupils worked well as a team to complete one Crane mission.
  • The pupils worked together as a team to complete all of the Crane missions.
  • The pupils are able to present their robot, program and mission strategy, explaining how they've successfully completed each Crane mission.


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

  • Blue: I've successfully completed one mission.
  • Yellow: I've successfully completed all of the missions.
  • Violet: Along with my team, I've presented our robot, program and mission strategy to our coach with each team member participating.

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

Language Arts Extension

To incorporate the development of language arts skills:

  • Have your pupils prepare and deliver a presentation about how they’ve developed an effective strategy for completing the Crane Mission in the shortest amount of time.

Note: This will require additional time.

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

  • Manufacturing and Engineering (Pre-Engineering)
  • Information Technology (Computer Programming)
  • Construction and Architecture (Architecture)

Teacher Support

The pupils will:

  • Complete their first FIRST LEGO League mission
  • Have their robot interact with the game field

LEGO® Education SPIKE Prime Set
LEGO® Education SPIKE Prime Expansion Set
FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge Set

CAS Computing Progression Pathways

Shows an awareness of tasks best completed by humans or computers. (EV)

Designs solutions by decomposing a problem and creates a sub-solution for each of these parts. (DE) (AL) (AB)

Pupil Material

Student Worksheet

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