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LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Prime Resources

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LEGO® Education SPIKE Prime FAQs

General

What is LEGO® Education SPIKE Prime?

LEGO® Education SPIKE Prime is part of the LEGO® Learning System. It’s an exciting hands-on solution that uses playful learning experiences to engage primary school students in STEAM learning, putting them on the path to becomingresilient,independent thinkers.

The LEGO® Education SPIKE Prime Set contains 528 LEGO Elements. It is the go-to STEAM learning tool for grade 6-8 students. Combining colorful LEGO building elements, easy-to-use hardware, and an intuitive drag-and-drop coding language based on Scratch, SPIKE Prime continuously engages students through playful learning activities to think critically and solve complex problems, regardless of their learning level. From easy-entry projects to limitless creative design possibilities, including the option to explore text-based coding with Python, SPIKE Prime helps students learn the essential STEAM and 21st century skills needed to become the innovative minds of tomorrow... while having fun!
What's the maximum number of students recommended per set?

We recommend one set for every two students in a classroom setting. However, the lessons can easily be completed with more students per set, or even one student per set.

In which languages is the LEGO® Education SPIKE App available?

The SPIKE App is available in 21 languages: English (US), English (UK), English (AU), Chinese, Japanese, Russian, German, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, French, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Polish, Turkish, Vietnamese, and Arabic.

What products are in the LEGO® Education SPIKE Prime family?

SPIKE Prime offers 1 core set and 10 supplement SKUs:
•45678 LEGO® Education SPIKE Prime Set
•45681LEGO® Education SPIKE Prime Expansion Set
•45601 LEGO® Technic Large Hub
•45602 LEGO® Technic Large Angular Motor
•45603 LEGO® Technic Medium Angular Motor
•45604 LEGO® Technic Distance Sensor
•45605 LEGO® Technic Color Sensor (launched in 2019 with SPIKE Prime)
•45606 LEGO® Technic Force Sensor
•45610 LEGO® Technic Large Hub Battery
•45611 LEGO® Technic Micro USB Connector Cable
•2000719 LEGO® Education SPIKE Prime Replacement Pack

What is the target age group?
SPIKE Prime is designed for Middle School students aged 10+. The target age group may vary between countries because country-specific curriculum needs determine where each lesson is mapped.

What is the recommended number of students per set?
As with all of the LEGO Learning System solutions, we recommend one set for every two students in a classroom setting

What is included in the SPIKE Prime set?
The SPIKE Prime Set contains 528 elements, including intelligent hardware and a colorful selection of familiar, stackable, and age-appropriate LEGO bricks. The heart of the SPIKE Prime system is the programmable Hub. This advanced yet simple-to-use, brick-shaped device features 6 input/output ports, 5x5 light matrix, Bluetooth connectivity, a speaker, 6-axis gyro and a rechargeable battery.

The SPIKE Prime Set also includes highly accurate motors and sensors that, together with a large variety of colorful LEGO building elements, let students design and build fun robots, dynamic devices, and other interactive models. Many attachment points on the Hub, motors and sensors plus large building elements means students spend less time building and more time learning. The durable storage box and 2 sorting trays also means time spent setting up and clearing away is kept to a minimum, while the smaller trays are ideal when desk space is limited

How do I start using SPIKE Prime with my students?
Please visit LEGOeducation.com/start and follow the SPIKE Prime onboarding guide for your unit grade band.

Where can I find additional support?

SPIKE Prime help can be found within the SPIKE App and online here. You're also welcome to contact our Consumer Service & Technical Support.

There's an unnumbered bag of bricks in my set – what’s it for?

We've included an extra bag containing some of the smaller elements that are crucial to the building process. We know from experience that these are often the first elements to go missing. This bag can also be purchased separately (2000719 - LE Replacement Pack Prime).


The Hub

How do I connect the SPIKE Prime Hub for the first time?

The first time you connect your Hub to the SPIKE App, you'll have to install the latest operating system (OS). You'll be automatically prompted to begin the OS update. This initial update can only be done via a USB connection on a Windows or Mac device. Subsequent updates can be done via Bluetooth from any compatible device.

Do I need to update the Hub’s operating system (OS) before getting started?

When a user connects a Hub to their device, the app verifies compatibility with the installed version of the OS. If it’s not compatible, the app notifies the user that the OS must be updated before continuing.

How do I update the Hub’s operating system?

Hub updates differ depending on the device you’re using. To update your Hub, simply follow the instructions below or the in-app instructions that will appear when an update is needed.

Note: whenever possible we recommended using a USB connection for updating

How do I reset the Hub to factory settings?

To reset your Hub to factory settings, press the Hub Connection Icon on the Programming Canvas, press the More Button (···) in the Dashboard tab and select Reset Settings. Press OK to confirm the reset, or Cancel to keep the current settings. Be careful - resetting your Hub will delete all of your programs, and they can’t be recovered!

How do I rename the Hub?

Giving each Hub a unique name helps you differentiate between multiple Hubs (e.g., when using Bluetooth communication). When connecting to a Hub that hasn't yet been renamed, the SPIKE App will automatically ask you to rename it.

In order to rename a Hub that you have already named, you must first remove it from your desktop or tablet as a paired Bluetooth device or clear the device's Bluetooth cache.

Once the Hub is removed as a Bluetooth device you can press the Hub Connection Icon on the Programming Canvas and connect your Hub. Then select Rename Hub in the Dashboard tab and enter the new name. Press OK to save your changes.

How do I use Bluetooth to connect the Hub to a device?

Press the Bluetooth Button (top right) on your Hub. In the Connection Center in the SPIKE App, select your Hub from the list of all available Hubs. When your Hub has been connected, the connection manager will close automatically. A notification will appear in the programming area confirming that the connection has been successfully established.

How stable is Bluetooth connectivity in a classroom setting?

SPIKE Prime Bluetooth connectivity can be affected by the type of device used. The connection process can be vulnerable in classroom settings where the same Hubs are connected to different devices over time.
LEGO Education continuously strives to improve SPIKE Prime Bluetooth connectivity across operating systems with periodic updates to the SPIKE App and the Hub firmware. As we work on further improvements, we recommend the following best practices to help mitigate potential challenges with Bluetooth connectivity.

Best Practices

  • Physically label the Hubs for unique identification.

  • Update the Hub OS prior to class/use.

  • Rename the Hubs prior to class/use—see the Hub Renaming Guide.

  • Always pair the Hubs with the same devices (if possible).

  • Connect the devices to the Hubs one by one.

  • Adjust the Sleep Mode time on the device to ensure the screen stays active for at least 10 minutes to prevent the Hub from disconnecting from the device.

  • If a device is used to connect to multiple Hubs or is slow in finding the Hub name, clear the device’s Bluetooth cache frequently (particularly on Windows and macOS)—see the Quick Guide for Clearing Bluetooth Cache below.

  • If a Hub is accidentally paired with the wrong device, you’ll need to remove the paired Hub from the device’s settings—see the Quick Guide for Clearing Bluetooth Cache below. You can’t remove paired devices from within the SPIKE App.

  • Use a USB cable connection if Bluetooth connectivity continues to be challenging (for Windows and macOS only).

For general guidance on how to connect the Hub to different types of devices via Bluetooth, please see the Bluetooth Connection Guide.

Why do I need to grant permission for "Location Services” on Android and Chromebook?

The Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy Technology, which enable your device to communicate with the Hub, require access to the device’s geolocation services. It’s a technical requirement that’s out of LEGO Education’s control. This access doesn’t collect or save any user data. It simply enables the technology to work.

How do I clear the Bluetooth cache?

First, make sure that Bluetooth is enabled on both the Hub and your device—and that the Hub is sufficiently charged.

Windows & MAC1

  1. Open the app. If you don’t have the app installed, use the onlineupdater at LEGOeducation.com/HubOS.
  2. Connect the Hub to your computer using the USB cable supplied with your LEGO® Education SPIKE Prime Set.

IOS & Android

It’s not currently possible to update your Hub using an iPad.
To update your Hub:

  1. Find a compatible Windows, macOS, or Chromebook device.
  2. Connect the Hub to your device using the USB cable supplied with the SPIKE Prime Set. Install (if necessary) and open the Chrome browser on the device and run the online updater at LEGOeducation.com/HubOS.

Chrome

  1. Connect the Hub to your Chromebook using the USB cable supplied with the SPIKE Prime Set.
  2. Open the Chrome browser and run the online updater at LEGOeducation.com/HubOS.

Can I update the Hub operating system (OS) via Bluetooth?

Yes, but whenever possible we recommended using a USB connection during the update process.

How do I rename the Hub?
When connecting to a Hub that hasn't been renamed, the LEGO® Education SPIKE App will automatically ask you to rename it. Giving each Hub a unique name will help you differentiate between multiple Hubs in close proximity (e.g., when using Bluetooth)

How do I maintain SPIKE Hub health for the best performance?

The SPIKE Prime Hubs operate best when fully charged. This ensures that students can access the building and coding experience—and the Hub can undergo software updates when needed. Before the first use and following regular classroom use, the Hubs will need to be recharged using the USB cables found in the sets. The Hubs will automatically begin charging as soon as they’re connected via USB cable to any USB port or USB power supply. It’s most efficient to charge multiple Hubs simultaneously using school-approved multi-USB port charging devices or power supply devices that allow for multiple power connections.

Charging time (from empty to full) is approximately 3 hours. This will vary depending on the type of USB charger used.

How do I manage firmware updates on the SPIKE Hub?

Firmware updates can either be mandatory or optional.

  • Mandatory updates will show an alert dialog that blocks the user from doing anything but updating the firmware. We only use this approach when necessary (e.g., to introduce new features in the app that are dependent on a firmware update).

  • Optional updates will show a notification banner in the top right of the app window. The notification banner allows the user to choose to install the update or wait to do it at another time.

Once the user starts an update, there's no way to pause it. The only way to cancel it is to turn off the Hub. Doing so will require the user to start the update process over again.

What type of batteries can I use in the Hub?

You can only use the Rechargeable Battery that comes in the LEGO Education SPIKE Prime Set. It’s charged using the micro-USB cable that’s included in the set. The battery is also available to buy separately.

What type of USB power chargers do you recommend to use for charging the Hub?

We recommend using a high quality power charger from a reputable brand because these are often DVP- (dedicated charging port) or CDP- (charging downstream port) type chargers.

What is the charging time for the Hub battery?

The Hub uses standard USB 500mA charging current. The charging time (from empty to full) is approximately 3 hours

How can I preserve my Hub's battery life?

If the Hub isn't going to be used for an extended period, we suggest fully charging the battery before storing it. Storing the Hub with a completely drained battery is not recommended. You can also extend the battery life by removing the battery from your Hub before storing it.

What do the Hub's color-coded error messages mean?

If you’re having issues starting or connecting your Hub, you might see the Center Button light up with a color-coded error message. Here's an overview of the error messages and how to fix them.

red-da2d74fa284447f248052750d62388e8.png

The Center Button is flashing red

There’s an extended load on the Hub. Turn off the Hub and let it cool down for 15 minutes.

orange-037d9acd5e77f1c5a36fa1f7ec1653da.png

The Center Button is flashing orange

Your Hub's battery is running low. Connect the Hub via the USB cable to begin charging the battery.

green-4520bb165e757d921631ad647ff98c6d.png

The Center Button is green

Your Hub has stopped working, - most likely due to a lost connection. Restart it by holding down the Center Button for approximately 3 seconds.

blue-043b9e2400807fee23ce89c8dc219748.png

The Center Button is blue

Your Hub needs an update that requires a USB cable connection. Connect your Hub to a device via USB cable, and start the Hub OS update in the SPIKE App.

bt-violet-d592234b9721bd7baa44a692b2934e8e.png

The Connection Button is flashing violet/green/blue

Your Hub OS has been recently updated, and your Hub needs to be restarted. Restart your Hub by holding down the Center Button for approximately 20 seconds.

Can I use any micro USB cable to connect the Hub to my device?

No, you must use a USB 2.0 cable with a Male- to- Micro B connector and an AWG 24 wire gauge. We strongly advise that you only use the micro USB cable that was supplied as part of the SPIKE Prime Set. This can also be purchased separately (45611 - LEGO Technic Micro USB Connector Cable).


The SPIKE App

What is the LEGO Education SPIKE App?
The SPIKE App is a student-facing app that can be used with both SPIKE Essential and SPIKE Prime to follow and complete lessons. The app includes “getting started” material, lessons, building instructions, and a series of coding experiences that progress from icon- and word-block coding based on Scratch to text-based coding based on Python (The Python API will be available in an update coming soon)

In which languages is the SPIKE App available?
Like all of the elements in the LEGO Learning System, the SPIKE App is available in 21 languages: English (US), English (UK), English (AU), Chinese (simplified), Japanese, Russian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, French, Italian, Korean, Portuguese (BR), Spanish, Spanish (MX), Polish, Turkish, Vietnamese, and Arabic.

The app interface is in Finnish, so why isn’t Finnish lesson content available?
SPIKE Essential doesn’t support content in Finnish. However, SPIKE Prime does support Finnish, which is why this language appears in the shared app

Which coding language is the SPIKE App built on?
The SPIKE App uses an intuitive drag-and-drop coding language that’s based on Scratch. Some of the blocks are identical to the ones that are used in Scratch 3.0, while others have been specially developed to interact with the LEGO® Education SPIKE hardware.

Are the programs created in the SPIKE App compatible with Scratch 3.0?
No, you can't use programs created in the SPIKE App with Scratch 3.0 (and vice versa).

Which coding grammar can be used in the app?
The app includes icon blocks and word blocks. A new Python API will be available in an update coming soon.

Which operating systems are compatible with SPIKE Prime?
The SPIKE App is available for Win10, Chrome OS, iOS, Android, and macOS. .

Why isn't SPIKE Prime available for Windows 7?
Microsoft implemented Windows 7 “end of life” in January 2020. This means that it has discontinued all support, including paid support; and all updates, including security updates. Therefore, LEGO Education has decided to focus on Windows 10.

Can both SPIKE Essential and SPIKE Prime be used with the same app?
Yes. The SPIKE App can be used with both SPIKE Essential and SPIKE Prime

Can you connect more than one Hub to the same device at the same time?
No. You can only connect one Hub at a time.

Can SPIKE Prime be programmed with Python?
SPIKE Prime can soon be programmed using the Python editor in the SPIKE App. The Python Editor is part of a coming update to the SPIKE App.

Can SPIKE Prime be programmed with word blocks?
Yes. SPIKE Prime can be programmed using word blocks.

Why is there no USB support for the Chromebook version of the SPIKE App?
SPIKE Prime has been brought to Chromebooks as a “Ported Android App,” which Google recommends as the most sustainable. Currently, Ported Android Apps don't support USB connectivity.

Which version of Python is used in the SPIKE App?
The Python editor in the app uses MicroPython, which is an efficient and commonly used version of the Python language that's optimized to run on microcontrollers or small computers. The majority of Python's language features are found in MicroPython. However, MicroPython doesn't contain the entire Python library by default.

How can I download the SPIKE App for Chromebooks?
The SPIKE App for Chrome can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Some schools and districts restrict access to the Google Play Store on student devices. In these cases, there are extra steps that the school’s Google admin must take to install the SPIKE App on student devices. For further guidance on how to manage access to trusted apps, like the SPIKE App, please refer to Google’s support for deploying apps to managed users https://support.google.com/chrome/a/answer/7131624?hl=en.

Alternatively, users can access the SPIKE Web App through the Chrome browser at LEGO Education SPIKE.

How do I resolve issues with opening the SPIKE App on Chromebooks?
Users having trouble opening the SPIKE App on a Chromebook might need to update the Android System WebView. This small component can be updated from the Google Play Store like any other app:

  1. Open Google Play Store.
  2. Go to My apps (or search for System WebView).
  3. Go to updates, find Android System WebView, and press Update.

Why can’t I install the SPIKE App on PC in Windows 10 32bit?
When installing the SPIKE App in Windows 10 32bit, the user gets the following error: "This installation package is not supported on this type of processor." The only workaround is to install the SPIKE App on Windows 10 64bit instead. The SPIKE App doesn’t support Windows 10 32bit.

Why am I encountering Sound Block issues on iOS?
If you are experiencing an issue with the Sound Blocks on iOS where the sound will suddenly stop working, we would recommend updating the SPIKE app to the latest version 2.0.5 for resolving this issue.


Compatibility

Is SPIKE Prime compatible with SPIKE Essential?
Yes. You can use all of the motors and sensors with both the SPIKE Prime and SPIKE Essential Hubs. There are both icon blocks and word blocks for all the hardware elements.

How does SPIKE Prime compare to MINDSTORMS EV3? Is it a replacement?
SPIKE Prime was designed to make it easier for middle school students to build with technology. SPIKE Prime is not meant to replace or replicate EV3 and therefore will differ in features and functionality

Is SPIKE Prime compatible with LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3?

The SPIKE Prime hardware does not offer backward compatibility with LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 because the plug system is different. LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 is based on an RJ12 plug system, whereas SPIKE Prime uses the LPF2 plug system, which is a proprietary LEGO plug system. There will also be no backward compatibility on the programming side.

Is SPIKE Prime compatible with WeDo 2.0?

Even though the hardware from SPIKE Prime and WeDo 2.0 share the same plug system and therefore fit together, you can't combine the SPIKE Prime and WeDo 2.0 hardware and use the SPIKE App or WeDo 2.0 App to code them.


Competitions

Can I use SPIKE Prime in FIRST® LEGO League and WRO?

Yes, it’s permitted for use in FIRST LEGO League starting in the 2019 season and in WRO starting in 2020. Future competitions will be developed for use with both LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 and SPIKE Prime.

LEGO, the LEGO logo, the SPIKE logo, MINDSTORMS, and the MINDSTORMS EV3 logo are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2019 The LEGO Group.

FIRST® and the FIRST logo are trademarks of For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST). LEGO, the LEGO logo, and MINDSTORMS are trademarks of the LEGO Group. FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League Jr. are jointly held trademarks of FIRST and the LEGO Group.