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Lego Education -- what to choose?

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I have boys ages 9 and 11 who love Legos and are interested in robotics. I'm looking at the Lego Education homeschool site and not sure where to start. 


Does it make sense to start with Introduction to Simple and Powered Machines and then move on to the EV3 Homeschool Combo Pack? Or is there another product that would be a better entry point?


Also, do these products ever go on sale? They're pricey!


Edited by poikar
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My soon to be 11 y.o uses legos at school. I got him a used nxt (8547) for 1/2 retail at the unofficial lego exchange:"bricklink". My experience with the exchange was good, but use caution.  I paid through paypal for some additional insurance.  I then got somel lego nxt books off amazon. the books cover far more than the  Legos offered classes and were only a few dollars.

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At 9 and 11, I would go for the EV3 homeschool pack and skip the intro to simple and power machines. I have the NXT retail pack and the EV3 homeschool pack.


Even though my boys enjoy Legos and robotics, they rather play Legos and do other more open ended robotics.


For Lego NXT and EV3 books, library has plenty.


If your boys are not asking for Lego Mindstorm and are just interested in robotics, there is also Arduino as well as Raspberry Pi which are cheaper to start with and cheaper to expand/add-on for more elaborate projects. Plenty of books at the library too.

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DS10 is a huge Lego fan, and a tech geek like his parents. He saved his allowance for a whole year to buy the EV3 set and he absolutely adores it (we had planned to give it to him for Christmas that year, but he beat us to it LOL). We even used it to build a cookie-icing machine that an engineer friend of mine pointed out to me. That said, we didn't get the homeschool pack, just the standard version. I should investigate the differences and maybe pick up any missing components for him.

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