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Lego education questions

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If you were thinking about getting the simple and motorized mechanisms base set, do you also need to get the "lesson plans" which go with it? I don't want to order the base set and there be no instructions for my son to follow. Do I really NEED the "activity pack/lesson plans" which go along with it?


Same question for the pneumatics add on set? Do we NEED the activity pack? I'm confident in my teaching and in his following the student directions.


I guess I'm just wondering what the activitiy pack is and if it is indeed worth the extra cost.

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Does it say whether any instructions come with it? I don't know about the lesson and activity pack.


If the legos don't come with instruction cards, you could add the instruction cards from the old versions from ebay, such as 1031 (simple machines) and 1033 (motorized, even though those motors are older) (the corresponding older sets, that originally came with the instruction cards, are 1030 and 1032 - I got good deals on ebay on these old dacta sets by keeping an eye out - cheaper than buying WeDo new)

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The LEGO simple and motorized machines kit comes with instructions for all the models. So it is really all you need, but the system really shines when you add the teachers pack.


For example, the instructions show you how to build a model of a street sweeper. The teachers pack adds a worksheet that has you switch out the gearing on the street sweeper for three different sets of gearing. For each set you are supposed to predict how well the sweeper will work then test it to see how well it actually worked. Then it has you test three different "sweeping head" configurations in the same way. Finally it asks an extension question, in this case about how switching out the gears for pulleys would affect the machine.


The teachers pack includes about 25 "principal models" that explore 25 different simple machines, gears, pulleys, levers, inclined planes, screws etc. Then it has about 20 different projects that use the scientific method to apply and explore combinations of these ideas (like the example i gave above) These include both quantitative and qualitative analysis. Finally it includes about 6-8 "challenge projects" where the kids are asked to solve a problem using concepts they have learned and meeting specific design criteria and no model is given for those.


The kit is fun to play with but the teachers materials really turns it into a learning experience.


I used the kit and teaching materials with my son and now have taught it as a class at our co-op for the last 3 years.

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