Welcome, educators and enthusiasts of innovative learning! Today, we’re diving into a captivating lesson plan that bridges the realms of STEM education, horticulture, and coding using the LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Prime Set. The “Life Hacks” unit, particularly Lesson 5, takes students through the fascinating world of plant growth, weather data, and coding logic. This fun coding activity engages students in hands-on learning as they build and program their very own “tomato-meter” model, blending creativity with practical application.

Cultivating Curiosity

In Lesson 5, aptly titled “Veggie Love,” students in grades 6-8 explore how to use live forecast data to determine whether tomato plants need watering for the week. The magic happens as they build and program their very own “tomato-meter” model, a delightful blend of creativity and practicality through fun coding activity.

Building Blocks of Learning

The lesson unfolds in a series of steps, each designed to stimulate critical thinking and collaboration:

  1. Prepare: Students familiarize themselves with the LEGO® Education SPIKE™ App, setting the stage for the hands-on activity.
  2. Engage: A brief discussion ignites curiosity as students ponder questions about vegetable growth periods and regional variations in farming.
  3. Explore: Working in pairs, students construct the tomato-meter model and bring it to life through programming. They learn to adjust the meter’s needle based on forecasted precipitation.
  4. Explain: Collaboration continues as teams pair up to fine-tune their tomato meters, fostering a culture of peer learning.
  5. Elaborate: To deepen understanding, students extend their learning by displaying temperature forecasts for the upcoming week, honing their skills in data representation.

Nurturing Growth

As educators, we always seek ways to assess and enhance learning experiences. The lesson provides various assessment opportunities:

  • Teacher Observation: Evaluate student progress using customized success criteria, such as calibrating the meter and linking data manipulation to real-world scenarios.
  • Self-Assessment: Students reflect on their performance, choosing a “brick” that aligns with their achievements, whether moving the meter or displaying forecasted values.
  • Peer-Assessment: Encouraging constructive feedback among students fosters a supportive learning environment and promotes growth.

Beyond the Lesson

The learning continues beyond coding and gardening- extensions open doors to interdisciplinary exploration, allowing students to explore exciting, fun coding activities. 

  • Language Arts: Students can interview a local farmer or gardener to learn about the tools they use to monitor plant health and water needs. By comparing their tomato meter to these real-world instruments, students gain a deeper understanding of the practical applications of science and technology in agriculture.
  • Math: The tomato meter becomes a springboard for exploring data representation on a scale. Students can experiment with calibrating the meter for different variables like wind speed and temperature over time. This challenges them to think proportionally and translate real-world data into movement on the meter’s scale, reinforcing mathematical concepts.

A Harvest of Skills

In this innovative STEM lesson, students learn to code through fun coding activities and work with live data while gaining insights into the world of agriculture and meteorology. LEGO® Education’s SPIKE™ Prime Set, popular amongst schools in the Middle East, becomes a tool for cultivating not just tomato plants but also young minds eager to explore, experiment, and innovate.

So, let’s continue sowing the seeds of knowledge, one LEGO® brick at a time, nurturing a generation of thinkers and problem solvers ready to tackle the challenges of tomorrow’s world.

Connect and Learn More

Explore more lesson plans and resources from LEGO® Education to bring hands-on, engaging STEM experiences to your classroom. Let’s cultivate a love for learning that grows as abundantly as a well-tended garden.