The National Center for Quality Afterschool

Science After School (SAS) Consumers Guide  

Mindstorms for Schools (LEGO)

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  • Cost Category: More than $100
  • Price Details: $1,000 to $1,250 for a class set; access to computers is necessary
    The costs shown were accurate at the time of the review. Please check the publisher's web site for current prices.
  • Duration: A series of sessions that lasts at least one semester
  • Format: Instructors Guide, Kit or Materials
  • Grades: grades 4 to 5, grades 6 to 8, grades 9 to 12
  • Suitable for Multiple Uses?: can be reused
  • Subject(s): physics
  • Part of Series?: no
  • URL:

If you have computers, funds for (costly) materials, and training to troubleshoot/lead the use of Mindstorms, this professionally designed curriculum permits kids to program LEGO machines and address disciplines like physics, robotics and mechanics.

Using Mindstorms for Schools, one of the only programs of its kind for classroom use, student groups use computers to program LEGO machines. It's a challenging, exciting, and professionally designed curriculum that teaches physics, robotics, and mechanics all at once, but it does have some potential problems—leaders must be trained to troubleshoot both student and computer-related issues, as the activities can be quite complex and the software difficult to use. It may be worth waiting on this substantial investment until the new version of Mindstorms is released later in 2006.

Click here to view the evaluation criteria used while developing the Consumers Guide.