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Lego mindstorms robots - worth the money?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by BrianUK, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. BrianUK

    BrianUK New commenter

    We are extremely lucky. Our principal is very keen on IT and cleared me to buy 25 NXT Lego Kits. They arrived a few weeks back and we have a robotics club building the basic model for use in our new IT curriculum (see earlier SoW post). We are reserving 4 for the club and one more on standby for replacement of any bits and bobs. I expect them to lose pieces and we have an emergency budget for just that reason but we are going to glue the most vulnerable pieces into place to keep them sound. The club can then be the conduit for those that want to experiment with different models and we have ordered extra sensors such as gyro (tilt sensors) and acceleration sensors as well as bluetooth USB dongles to keep them busy.
    I have still to use these robots in anger but the expectation is that we will start next september in Year 8 and also perhaps in Year 9.
    There is a great level of excitement generated by these bots throughout the school. The club has pupils from year 7 to year 13, with lots of girls too. I am really looking forward to getting going with these and hope that the plans i have in place are robust and exciting enough to maintain momentum and sustain interest. There are some fantastic resources out there too. Time will tell I suppose, but I don't scare easily. :)
  2. cj3


    So if I want to buy some kit - what do I need - how much for all the different bits you need to make robots and program with NXT brick, for use with one class of 30 kids. And who is the best reseller to go for? We have some money to spend....

  3. Hi Brian!

    Firstly, you're VERY lucky to be in a school like that. Your post shows the enthusiasm you have for your job.
    Also, thank you for sharing the SOW - it's a nice mix of ICT and Computing. Our curriculum is very dry at the moment and has been since I started - am hoping the government criticisms will convince my Head of Luddites to embrace change.

    I was wondering - what are the advantages of these robots? Which skills do they teach? How difficult/easy are they to construct/program?

    I'm quite passionate about changing the attitude our school has towards IT and am looking at ways to help me. Could you possibly share some of your plans for your club - to give me some inspiration and a solid foundation from which to start me own?

    Thanking you!!!
  4. Hi

    They are an oustanding piece/pieces of kit. I teach control technology and programming through them in my SEN school with levels up to lower 4.

    We have six, but also bought an extras kit (blue box) as you will in time find key parts go missing. Tesco vouchers are a great way of getting hold of more items.

    James Marriott
  5. We purchased some last year and they are fantastic. Unfortunatley the person who used them the most has left.
    Is there a simple help guide for new users? or training?

  6. Hi,

    I'd look into Arduino and BigTrak especially if you have a good technology department that can support with laser cutting acrylic etc.

    I recently blogged on Arduino vs Mindstorm at http://w2.compu2learn.co.uk/arduino-vs-lego-mindstorm/4831

    Hope that helps.


  7. I teach ks2 and we use lego we do provides a good pre mindstorm environment and links to scratch as well as lego stuff :)
  8. I teach in Primary. I have been playing around with them, I just need someone to show me... Or go to visit a school where they are being used!
    Help! :)

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