Mindstorms Junior Prep: early Mindstorms learning for students 8 to 9 years-old
LEGO Education Mindstorms EV3 – most kids love it, and together with their parents, they regard it as the ‘top of the line’ robotics program. In order to enjoy playing with the powerful Mindstorms EV3 robots, the kids must have perseverance and explore with an open mind the endless possibilities of using LEGO Technics components and understanding the basic programming concepts sufficiently.
Among our students are kids who had prior experience learning EV3. Their feedback includes having very limited hands-on time as one kit set is shared among 3 to 5 students at their schools’ robotics clubs and those who had the opportunity to learn at other places were taught to program the motors using only the parameter of ‘seconds’. Kids learning EV3 with us do not need to worry about the first scenario as our class size is small and each student will have an individual robotics kit set & laptop to use. For the second scenario, the kids’ young age could be the reason as they may not be ready nor equipped with the basic knowledge to understand the other programming concepts.
Therefore, we developed Mindstorms Junior Prep, a 6-week program that is specially designed for 8 and 9 years-old who want to begin their Mindstorms EV3 journey early with us. This program is equivalent to our Basic 1 but the concepts will be introduced to the students gradually and with lots of hands-on and calculations to enable them to see for themselves how to apply certain math concepts in the programming. Upon completion of Mindstorms Junior Prep, the students would be able to proceed to Basic 2, subject to their overall appreciation of Mindstorms EV3 because some students will discover that they like to build robots but not programming it. It is then best for them to halt for a while and continue the Basic 2 program when they are older or ready.