If you’re in a school in 2016 and involved in technology, you’ve most likely heard the term “MakerSpace” – its the hot new thing that’s sweeping up all those students that struggle with reading but are great with their hands and giving them a place at school. The Maker culture is huge and I’ll use the next few days to talk about it. The real reason this comes to mind is I’ll be facilitating some Exploring Computer Science “Phase 3d” workshops that focus on their final unit – Robotics. The curriculum uses this Lego NXT or EV3 robots which can be expensive, so I’m always looking for alternatives – stay tuned and I’ll be listing a few not only for this curriculum but that can be used in MakerSpaces as well.
April 23rd – Lego WeDo
First off, I’m a huge Lego fan. I grew up on them and feel they directly related to how I am today. I think they are an amazing toy and tool for creativity and play. With that being said, as a adult I’m constantly searching for ways to play with Lego’s that is socially acceptable. Lego has a line of educational products (including the NXT and EV3 robots) but a slightly cheaper option is the Lego WeDo kits.
Full disclosure, there is a new Lego WeDo 2.0 available which is more expensive than the first, but the 1.0 version is still available from other vendors until they run out. But are excellent and the 2.0 kit just comes with more pieces to spur creativity.
Lego WeDo uses a USB connection to your computer, then will send information through a block to the extension or sensor that is connected to it. WeDo version 1.0 has a motor, tilt sensor and a light sensor. What I like about this kit is how quick and easy it is to connect to Scratch (something that the students learned in Unit 4 from ECS curriculum) and uses the blocks to make things happen.
If you are sold – act fast because if you buy soon, you can download a $289.00 curriculum guide for free with this (or EV3) purchases.