Lego WeDo and Scratch
Bringing Lego projects to life
Lego WeDo has been a huge favorite in my classes. We have used it in the STEM program for grade 3-5 and I have also used it in the CSTEM program with 6th graders. Lego WeDo has all the flexibility and creative building power of Lego combined with the power of Scratch code to make lego projects come to life.
The box set contains a motor and 2 sensors (distance and tilt) that can be powered by connecting it to a special USB hub. They also have some special pieces like gears that allow for more complex builds.
For grades 3-5, I have lessons that work through key vocabulary words and introduce the idea of coding as a means to control something physical like the lego.
In grades 6 - my students have already done some programming and so they need fewer instructions. I just tell them to connect the motor and find the new motor blocks in Scratch. Most students are able to program the motor and make something interesting.
I like to put up a simple challenge like the one below on the first day.
Build your project so that
Press key S = the motor starts
Press key 1 = the motor moves slow
Press key 2 = the motor moves faster
Press key R = the motor reverses
Press space = the motor stops
Usually students are so interested in building with lego, and using the motor on the first day, they do not get to the sensors.
On the next class, challenge them further by giving them some information on the sensors. Ask them to explore the range of each sensor and how it can be used in the code to control something on the screen or with the lego project.
You can be surprised at what you get.
Links to some Lego WeDo resources