Lego Mindstorms & surprises!

If you’ve been following my blog recently you would know that I have been teaching robotics to Years 7, 11 & 12 students this term. The Year 11 & 12 classes have been using the school’s old Lego NXT2.0 Mindstorms kits and the Year 7 students are using the Lego EV3 Mindstorms. This blog post is dedicated to the EV3 builds and the surprising engagement of some Year 11 students. My next blog will be dedicated to the Year 11 & 12 work using the NXT2.0 models.

First EV3 build by Year 7 students...looks a bit like R2D2

First EV3 build by Year 7 students…looks a bit like R2D2

The school just purchased a few of the EV3 Education kits and so the Year 7 boys got busy creating a Colour Sorter and a Robot Arm (crane).

EV3 Colour Sorter uses the colour sensor and then delivers the block to the correct cup.

EV3 Colour Sorter uses the colour sensor and then delivers the block to the correct cup.

EV3 Robot Arm - turns, drops & lifts, and picks things up.

EV3 Robot Arm – turns, drops & lifts, and picks things up.

The school’s new EV3 kits were opened with excitement but once we realised that we did not have access to the builds or related code, we started to worry a bit. Fortunately, 5 build instructions for the EV3 Education kit can be found online; the Education kits are NOT the same as the individual commercial kits (like the one my son owns). So the Year 7 boys had fun building their robots BUT once it was completed how were they going to start coding it?  I have taught them some basic coding using Alice and Python but the Mindstorms software looks much different. So we searched for code and didn’t find much!  So I was going to teach&build in class with them, but they really wanted to see what their builds could do straight away.

Year 11 students to the rescue! My Year 11 students saw the EV3 builds in the next lesson and were very excited about them. Two Year 11 students took charge and used my laptop to create the code and continued throughout their lunch break. I have never seen these 2 young men so engaged and excited about technology; it was wonderful to see. I believe they were excited about the newer version of Mindstorms, they also liked the 2 creations and they also seemed keen to impress the Year 7 students.

Colour Sorter code with a fun display....a fun surprise for the Year 7 students

Colour Sorter code with a fun display….a fun surprise for the Year 7 students

Colour Sorter code - colour sensor checks colour & this is what happens if it is BLUE

Colour Sorter code – colour sensor checks colour & this is what happens if it is BLUE

4 comments on “Lego Mindstorms & surprises!

  1. Margaret says:

    So the kids are enjoying the new learnings?

    Like

  2. […] my last blog post I wrote about the EV3 Mindstorms creations that Year 7 students built (and Year 11 students programmed). This blog post will display some of […]

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  3. […] edition model for a few years. I have taught robotics units in the past with Mindstorms NXT2 and Mindstorms EV3. This year I am teaching a robotics unit to both grades 9 and 10 using Lego Mindstorms EV3 […]

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