Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lego Robotics Hooray!

Just got my Lego We-Do and Mindstorms robotics shipment thanks to a generous grant. It took me about 30 minutes from out of the box to my first finished We Do project which always boosts my self esteem as a scientist. It helped to have background familiarity with a simple coding program like Scratch or Hopscotch and Lego instructions. The curriculum suggests as young as 2nd grade and I can see that this would be right up their alley not to mention filling a gap in our programming for 2nd and 3rd graders.
I ended up purchasing the 16 person classroom set from Lego Education which includes 8 We Do sets, a site license, and curriculum binder so I can put it on as many computers as I need for a total of almost $1500 (you can buy them separately for a much cheaper price). I wanted a site license because we don't have enough laptops necessary for single licenses to run a program and I wanted the freedom of downloading them to as many computers in house as I could.

The teacher curriculum binder is worth its weight in gold. Complete with step by step instructions, different approaches (talking about animals in the wild and then making the animals) and did I mention already printed worksheets?!

The software was quick to set up, even on a Mac, and all the project instructions are visible on screen with the Lego part steps in easy digestible sections. The software includes prompts and suggestions for not only changing the physical Lego structure ie: how does the configuration of the pulley affect the time? but coding choices as well...make the motor turn right, left, wait 5 seconds, chirp. This is all drag and drop into the project area. I used the included one sheet index card of parts to decipher which ones they wanted me to use. My only concern is all these small Lego parts aren't going to stay nicely in each of these boxes for long but I do appreciate that Lego gave nice Tupperware boxes for storage.  I look forward to putting one of these kits out for use after school on one of our internet computers very soon.

Dancing Bird Lego We Do from Duxbury Free Library on Vimeo.

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