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4 hour Workshop ideas for LEGO NXT

We run 4 hour workshops with the Girl Scouts (see Girl Scout Workshops) with LEGO NXT robots (the educational kit). We use undergraduate students to assist during the workshops. We have one kit per every two students. We check that the kits are sorted into the correct bins and have all parts before we begin.

  1. We first introduce ourselves and say what we like about computer science or computational media.
  2. We show the students the map of the parts to the bins and point out the 3 different black connector pegs that look similar and how to tell them apart. We also explain that they need to measure the axles against the picture and that 2x means two of that part.
  3. Have the kids plug in the brick while they are building so that it is charged and ready to go when they are done building.
  4. We have the kids build the robot base (no sensors) with the instructions that come with the education kit. This usually takes about 1 hour for most of them. We have them work in pairs with one person looking for parts for the next step while the other person is building and then we ask them to switch about half-way through.
  5. We tell the kids to do the robot educator common palette challenges 1-7 and then program the robot to get through courses outlined in blue painters tape on the floor. We have a series of these courses with some harder than others.
  6. We tell the kids to challenges 8-9 and then have them create a 20-30 second dance that uses at least 1 loop and at least 2 MyBlocks.
  7. Kids can add the light sensor and then do challenges 16-17 and see if they can get the robot to follow a black line in electrical tape on a white foam board.

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