b696_edge_robotic_arm_kitFor the past five years, I’ve been running an after-school technology program with teens in grades 6- 8. We’ve done lots of different projects like READ posters, stop motion animation, digital art, photography, and podcasts.

This spring we’re trending into a a very different territory for us: robotics. I’m excited and scared about this venture and it will be a learning experience for both me and my staff and the teens. While our session doesn’t officially begin until February, I thought I would share some of the robotic kits we are considering purchasing.

1. Robotics Education Pack: This kit, at $500, is the most expensive one we’re looking at. While it is on the pricey side, it come with over 500 pieces and everything you need to create various robots. It even comes with booklets to build 8 different robotics such as a carousel or inchworm.

2. LEGO Mindstroms: This one is also a bit pricey at $350, but still at the top of our list. On paper, this one is very similar to the Robotics Education Pack, with very few differences. I’ll be interested to see if the teens leans to one of there other or not.

3. SmartCar Robotics: We’re hoping to start off the session with kits that offer less options to get the ball rolling. This kit offers7 different designs that include a smartcar, motorcycle, and airplane. I also like that you create an augmented reality using the code cards and an iPad that you can drive the creations through.

4. OWI Kits: There are several OWI kits that we’d like to buy: A Solar Kit, All Terrain Robot, and A Robotic Arm Kit. I know there is some overlap with other items we’re already considering, but these kits are the cheapest on the list and will allow us to order more than one without breaking the bank.

If any of you have done robotics before, I would love to hear what you’ve used and how it worked!

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