It's been a while since we've shared any of our LEGO escapades with you, hasn't it?
To be honest, this is because we've hit upon a LEGO® Education product that has truly challenged (and sometimes stumped) my almost 11 year old.
Up to this point we've been using a lot of the LEGO® Education products for the elementary ages (you can read all of our reviews and experiences if you'd like). Now, however, LEGO® Education Mindstorms EV3 has taken our home by storm and I have a husband and son that are completely in love with this challenging robotics set and software!
Mindstorms enable students to build, program, and test their solutions based on real-life robotics technology. It comes with the EV3 intelligent brick - basically a powerful small personal computer - that allows students to control motors and collect sensor feedback.
I know, I know.
It all sounds very confusing, doesn't it? I had been very intimidated by this set and software (so much so that it just sat on our shelf for nearly a year before I mustered up the courage to delve into the Mindstorms world!)
My son, however, (with a little help from his dad) jumped right in, has figured out basic programming and is motivated to learn MORE.
LEGO® Education Mindstorms EV3 has been the perfect addition to our homeschool. I don't have to tell you what valuable skills programming, building, problem-solving, and patience building are in today's world.
About LEGO® Education EV3 Core Set
The LEGO® Education EV3 set is different than the LEGO Mindstorms retail set sold in most stores. The education version has more motors, sensors, and more advanced programming.
I would HIGHLY recommend this set. I know it's a HUGE investment, but if you have a STEM minded kid, you will get your money's worth.
The set includes:
- Three interactive motors with built-in rotation sensors
- Color sensor, gyro sensor, ultrasonic sensor, and two touch sensors
- Rechargeable battery and charger
- Ball Wheel
- Connecting cables
- Building Instructions
- LEGO Technic Building Bricks
A printed booklet of instructions for the LEGO Educator model are included, and 4 additional sets of instructions are embedded in the software (sold separately).
My son immediately built the LEGO Educator model without any problems. He and his dad spent some time with the software and did the basic programming.
The programming is drag and drop, so it's very easy to learn!
Then, my son wanted to construct the Mindstorms Crane. He completed the steps (over 100) and it took him close to three hours. Then, the programming happened.
Look what he came up with!
Creativity with Mindstorms EV3
Of course, my son loves the models he has made with the instructions, but he also loves to be creative with the Technic bricks.
He's been experimenting with the sensors and programming.
The beauty of this is that he is thinking through problems and solutions. He is asking good questions. He is fine tuning so many good skills that will serve him later in life.
We're even thinking about starting our own First LEGO League Team!
The LEGO® Education Mindstorms EV3 has been the next logical step for my LEGO lover.
I love that these products have taken him literally from preschool to middle school, and I can see many more years of LEGO learning in his future!