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Driving robots crazy with Lego Mindstorms EV3

Programming Lego Mindstorms EV3 with the EV3 Discovery Book from Lawrence Valk

This is the first year that we have included technology as a homeschool subject outside of our science lessons. The impetus to do so came from Calvin himself, of course, who was fascinated by projects he'd already done using HyperStudio or a variety of sometimes questionable Minecraft plugins and mods and...whatever (I don't actually know what I'm talking about when it comes to Minecraft). Last semester we started our technology studies using JavaScript for Kids, which was both challenging and fun, and this semester we are using the Lego Mindstorm EV3 kit (a Christmas gift from a few years ago that has already hours of fun that produced such oddities as a cookie icer and a hissing, lunging cobra) along with the unendorsed but clearly accompanying EV3 Discovery Book

I'm not the technology counselor in our house. It's not that I'm technology illiterate, it's just that I'm not as technology literate as Jon and I don't have the time, or really the interest, to become so. Since Calvin is insistent on getting up to walk his friends to the bus stop every morning (we'll see if that lasts through the teenage "sleep in" years), there is at least an hour after he gets back before Jon has to leave that is the perfect time slot for teching (that's not a typo), and the two have made good use of that time. Jon tells me that the Discovery Book, though not officially endorsed by Lego, is the instruction book that should have come in the box. It offers dozens and dozens of discovery challenges and unique robot builds with clearly written, easily followed instructions. It gets two thumbs up from both boys, or a well earned five stars.

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