LEGO Mindstorms is a hardware-software platform created by LEGO for the improvement of programmable robots based on LEGO building blocks. Each variant of the system includes an intelligent brick computer that controls the system, a set of motor and modular sensors, and LEGO parts from the Technic line to create the mechanical systems.
LEGO Mindstorms EV3 is the 3rd generation robotics kit in LEGO’s Mindstorms line.
It is the successor to the 2nd generation LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 kit. The " EV" designation refers to the "evolution" of the Mindstorms product line. "3" refers to the fact that it is the 3rd generation of computer modules – 1st was the RCX and the 2nd is the NXT.
LEGO Mindstorms uses software that is drag and drop, you only need to know some basics about how to get the robot to follow your commands. It takes time to master, but it’s worth the result. Take a look at some of the subject areas accessed by work with the Mindstorms:
Math – Although not always a student favorite, math is applied to the robot building when it comes to programming it. Geometry, particularly circle geometry is necessary to accurately get the robot to rotate the wheels the requested distance.
Robotics – Who doesn’t want to build a robot and take over the world? Or at least the LEGO world!
Mechanics – Part of the robot building has to do with putting the robot together with the technic pieces. How those fit together and work efficiently is a big part of the task.
Physics – Along with efficiency, you need a stable structure. We spend a lot of time learning which designs are the most stable?
Fun – There is no shortage of fun when it comes to exploring with a LEGO Mindstorms kit. There are many educational robotics sets available on the market, but the ones that seem the most valuable were created by LEGO Education: LEGO WeDo and LEGO Mindstorms. Their effectiveness is built upon kids’ love for LEGO bricks, but they have various other
Advantages. Equipped with sensors and motors, these sets can be controlled with a kid-friendly drag-and-drop visual programming software. When talking about robotics, one should mention its other educational values. By operating
in the physical world, mechanics and robots teach physics. By building robots with bricks, or other elements, kids amend their motor skills, which seem to be recently forgotten. By selecting appropriate constructions, sensors, or themes, one can also learn biology, chemistry, history, or art. Hence, robotics is a truly interdisciplinary field.
LEGO Mindstorms is a fun way to get kids interested in programming. Here are some benefits of kids using LEGO Mindstorms EV3:
1. Robotics teaches essential teamwork skills.
The STEM skills that robotics teach are great for inspiring tomorrow’s engineers. Some of the teamwork skills they learn through robotics are ones they will use for the rest of their life. When kids work in groups on a project with a robot, they quickly see that technical skills, such as coding, are essential. However, their robot won’t move if they don’t know how to collaborate with others and communicate their ideas. Through robotics, kids learn how to express themselves and listen and relate to others— honing valuable life skills.
STEM lessons are essential for kids as they prepare to enter the 21st-century workforce. Through robotics, kids can learn more than just how to code. Kids can learn skills in leadership, community involvement, communicating across various technology platforms, finding their passions, teamwork, which will position them for achievement well beyond their school years.
2. Robotics can be a launching pad for kids to realize their passions. By going through the procedure of creating a robot, kids explore many different learning pathways. It’s amazing to watch kids’ passions grow in subjects that they never knew they would love. You can view these kids build their learning pathways because robotics gives kids an open platform where kids can decide where to go with their experiments.
3. A strong robotics curriculum can create leaders. When kids interact with robots and make them perform various motions and tasks, your kids’ different strengths will start to shine. When assembling robots in teams, some kids are great at speaking and can verbally bring ideas to life. On the flip side, some kids may not be as vocal, but they lead behind the scenes: they code, perform technical tasks and makes sure the team stays on task.
Through the exercise of putting the robot together and making it move, these two types of kids—both leaders in their own right—learn to communicate as a team and express their ideas to craft the best result. The capability to come together as different types of leaders, communicate with each other and utilize their strengths will be essential throughout these kids’ lives, no matter if they become an artist, a business executive or an engineer.