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Best online Robotic/programming/coding programs


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Finally something I know something about  :lol:


I coach 2 Lego FLL teams and have done tons :hurray:  of Lego building and some programming with my kids for a decade.


Can you be more specific about what you are looking for... programming OR engineering (learning better building techniques)? Or both?

What equipment do you have now? Do you have an EV3 Mindstorm Robot? Do you have tons of Lego Technic?


What are your kids strengths? Is there something you want them to improve?


At the ages of kids you have, I viewed building and programming as separate things to work on. We do both, but for younger kids it is the hands-on 3D problem solving that Technic requires that is the most beneficial in a broader sense, I believe. It is still an important element (no pun intended).


For years, my youngest would choose an object and we'd watch engineering videos about how it worked and then we'd try to recreate it is Lego Technic. You need a lot of parts for this. We used tons of youtube videos to see what other people were building and then use that as a challenge. One early one was a Lego working safe, or a puzzle box. He now tries to recreate mechanisms from grandfather clocks, music boxes, robotic arms, you name it. For years, we built the challenges that were in the Lego magazine. They just changed the concept of the magazine, with more online content, but I think they have the challenges still. My kid won the contest the first time he entered, but literally the month they changed format, and his creation was never published :crying: ... that is our luck in a nutshell. He did get a huge Lego set shipped to him, though.


If there are other families that you could include on this quest, I would highly recommend starting a First Lego League (FLL) team now... the season started recently. You get the mission mat, the parts for all the mission models, the robot challenge and you use your EV3 kit to build an autonomous robot and program it to complete the missions. There are other parts of FLL that are great learning opportunities as well. The team also does a science fair project and learns leadership skills. The teams are made up of kids grades 4-8. There is a forum to help new coaches and a mandate to help other teams. http://www.firstlegoleague.org


If you want to wait a year or two for something like that, then you can use the site Scratch now to learn to program.. it is similar to the Mindstorm programming blocks, so kids using that are ahead of the game for FLL. Their server is down (which is rare) now so I can't find the page to start on.


I can't imagine using an online course to learn robotics, as I see it as a real-time hands-on activity, but there are tons of online resources to use at home. I can provide some if I knew more details.




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My DS has attended several local robotics classes, but he has never taken any online robotics classes.

Now he has EV3 and just plays with it at home.  We have borrowed some books about Lego Robotics from the local library and he also watches YouTube for some ideas.

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