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In the regular Lego catalog, there is a basic NXT set that sells for $279 and comes with software and sixteen projects and four robot plans. In the Lego Education catalog there's this kit that looks the same and is the same price, plus, there's a "Software Sold Separately" note with a link to this. Is the software just more tutorials and projects?


Are these kits the same? Should I add the software for my almost ten-year-old?


Or do I want the homeschool kit? And is that not just the software plus the base kit?

Edited by dragons in the flower bed
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You need the soft-ware to program the brick; the brick is the "brain" of the robot. I have the second kit (but mine came with the software).


The kits are not the same. Although I can't say for sure HOW they are different. I just know my kit can't build a robot that looks like that picture.


I actually went to Lego Land for a training to use Mindstorm in the classroom. It was cool.


ETA: I have the last one you linked. It is a good basic kit that is geared toward learning how to use Mindstorm while programming the robot to accomplish tasks. Mindstorm is pretty amazing. There were Carnegie-Mellon students in my class that could do some amazing stuff with their robots. But it is intuitive enough to allow a person like me to feel competent.


ETA Again: The software is necessary, but it does include tutorials which are very helpful.

Edited by Jana
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We do not own a Mindstorm set but DS went to several classes and had his birthday at the LEGO Education Center that used the Mindstorm robots (until they closed recently :( ). I have been hopign to purchase on for him one of these days and have been trying to figure out the same thing.


It looks like the only difference between the Homeschool set and the Education Base set is that the Homeschool set includes the software, which as the PP said, is required. The software loads on a computer that you use to program the brick, then you disconnet the Mindstorm and it does what you have programmed it to do. It makes sense that a classroom could buy extra hardware without having to buy the software for each one (especially if the software allows for a classroom use license). Between those two, I would say you want to order the Homeschool set, which would save you $15 if you bought the base set and software seperately.


The difference between the Homeschool set and the regular Mindstorm set is a little harder to discern and I think will really be personal preference. I believe the software is the same. Just looking at the list, these are the differences I noticed:


HS Set has/MS doesn't:

light sensor

sound sensor

3 rotation sensors

3 lamps

converter cables*

connector cables* (*not sure if these are the same as the "input/output ports listed in the MS set)

437 building elements

step-by-step guide with 46 tutorials

Plastic storage bin with sorting trays


MS Has/HS doesn't:

"all-new color sensor" (seems like this functions as both a light sensor and lamp as well as a color sensor)

Bluetooth communication link

612 building elements

building instructions for 4 robots

Pack-N-Go project packager


I am all :bigear: if someone can give more input on the differences between these two.

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