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Paying for Lego WeDo camp vs. Buying the Kit


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I am debating whether or not it is worth it to sign up my 5 and 7 year old for a Lego WeDo camp at 190 dollars for each kid (M-F, 9-12 = 15 hours total). So for $380 could I just buy the Lego WeDo kit and teach it myself. My cousin is also thinking about signing up her two boys (ages 6 and 8) for the same camp. We are thinking 760 dollars would buy a lot of Legos. I am not really familiar with Lego WeDo or Mindstorms. Is there a guide or manual that is available?

Is this what I should buy for $217?

https://shop.education.lego.com/legoed/education/WeDo/WeDo+Homeschool+Pk/5003417&isSimpleSearch=false

 

Are two kits necessary for 4 kids? 

 

Is it better to start with the simple machines?  Any advice would be appreciated. 

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If you're comfortable with teaching basic programming concepts, I'd go with the sets. The programming itself is done with drag and drop of icons, so you don't really need to know the syntax of a language or anything. My understanding is that Mindstorms is for older children (middle school and up?) and WeDo is for younger (elementary).

 

The simple machines set doesn't involve programming, if that makes a difference. It's for teaching concepts like levers, wheels, etc.

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The Junior First Lego League (JFLL) has  Lego WeDo kits too. in case you are interested because you and your cousin would have 4 kids and can form a team.  JFLL is not competitive.

 

The kits for JFLL (PDF)

JFLL page http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/jr.fll/start-a-team

 

Manuals and building instructions for Mindstorm EV3 are here http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/downloads/user-guides/enus/

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I would buy 1 lego we do kit through the Jr. FLL route and a few fun lego technic kits, let them each pick one $20 or $30 lego technic thing. Then, I would hire a 10 - 12 year old or teen who likes Legos. Individualized, and you have Legos at the end. With the hire of a young kid, you could sit back and watch!!

 

These have pull back motors and could be raced at the end:

 

http://shop.lego.com/en-US/Race-Car-42011

 

http://shop.lego.com/en-US/Off-road-Racer-42010

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If you get enough motors and battery packs (it's nice to have some of the old motors), then the Lego Technic Idea books are also fun.  The Lego Crazy Contraptions book and kit is also cool and has a lot of great starter gears and pieces for building your own technic stuff.

 

Agreed with others that the better value if your main goal is for them to have the experience of Lego robotics is to just get the kit.  The camp is more about the babysitting.

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That is a fun age for the contraptions book, maybe one book per family, that would be a nice addition!

 

http://www.amazon.com/Lego-Crazy-Action-Contraptions-Stillinger/dp/1591747694/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398484184&sr=1-1&keywords=lego+crazy+contraptions

 

We also like the Lego Technic Idea books, we have all 3, here is one:

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-LEGO-Technic-Idea-Book/dp/1593272774

 

We started with one motor but now have 3, extra motors are good to have.

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Simple machines is mechanics and physics, we do is programming. mindstorms is for older kids. Hope that helps!

 

So long as you have a basic understanding of computers id buy the kit and do it at home. More learnt, more time to learn, and then you own it. We plan to buy a lego ed kit for christmas this year for the eldest to do with daddy.

 

I get the impression camp is more to do with babysitting

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