Not an Ordinary Brick
The LEGO brand is well known around the world and many schools in Ireland already use a number of LEGO Education products such as LEGO Mindstorms and LEGO WeDo. I previously wrote a piece about LEGO WeDo back in 2016 and with the growing emphasis on STEM activities at Primary School level it’s great to see a new product coming into the education market that will support these activities.
Coding Express is aimed at younger pupils and will be an ideal addition to Junior and Senior Infant classes STEM resources. This new product is currently on pre-order in the US and should be available in Ireland early in 2019; of course, with the nature of online ordering and creative delivery options, I’m sure teachers here could find a way to get their hands on the Coding Express package as early as possible.
So what is Coding Express? It is a pack of 234 LEGO action bricks that have been designed to help young pupils explore coding concepts such as sequences, loops and What… If events. They use the bricks to construct a train and surrounding environment and then give the train commands to perform actions along a track; a red “Stop” action brick or “Green” go action brick can be placed on the track at strategic points as “Sound” and “Lights” bricks help to further animate the scene. The pack also contains resources to help the teacher introduce Coding Express to their pupils without the need to have to create their own materials for lesson plans. These resources include an Introduction Guide, Activity Card, a Poster and 6 Building Cards. An Android or Apple iOS app is also available as well as excellent online support materials that are are a definite “must-have”! This is the Coding Express promo video from YouTube and it gives a great overview of the product.
I’ve spoken to a number of teachers during recent summer CPD courses about their use of Bee-Bots and Blue-Bots in their schools and I think these teachers and of course many more teachers around the country will absolutely love Coding Express.