In January, I accompanied my ten-year-old daughter to her First LEGO League competition. I had been dropping her off to school an hour early every Tuesday for “LEGO League” but did not know much about what she was doing. I just know that she was very excited to have been one of the ten students from her school selected to participate. The competition was fun to watch as a parent. I noticed that some of the teams in the competition had multiple mentors. The mentor for my daughter’s team is a technology teacher in our school district and was the lead mentor for two teams. I decided during the competition that volunteering to be an additional mentor for my daughter’s team next year would be a great way to spend time with her and to be more involved at my kid’s school. I talked to Mr. Smith (the team mentor) and asked if I could volunteer next year when my daughter is in sixth grade, and he seemed excited to have some extra assistance.
The State of Utah has been making an effort to focus on STEM education. This focus has been in large part due to the efforts of our new Lieutenant Governer Spencer Cox, our Governer, and Legislature. I decided during the competition that volunteering to be an additional mentor for my daughter’s team next year would be a great way to spend time with her. Volunteering would also help me to be more involved at my kid’s school using my technology background to help the STEM efforts. I talked to Mr. Smith (the team mentor) and asked if I could volunteer next year when my daughter is in sixth grade, and he seemed excited to have some extra assistance.
Getting involved, of course, meant that I would “need” to buy the gear that the First LEGO League teams use. Normally I have to talk my wife into letting me buy techie toys, but, in this case, she was completely on board.
I ordered the EV3 Homeschool Combo Pack (5003480) from the LEGO Education website. The combo pack includes the EV3 Core Set (5003400), the EV3 Software, and the EV3 Expansion Set (45560) for $541.95. We received the combo pack via UPS just a few days after placing the order online.
Below are the unboxing photos for anyone interested in what exactly you get with the EV3 Homeschool Combo Pack.
The EV3 can be programmed entirely from the navigation buttons and LCD panel on the EV3 itself. The best way to program the EV3 is to use LEGO’s Mindstorms EV3 software. It gives you a graphical drag-n-drop way to create programs for the EV3, instructions on how to build the projects and much more. I will do some follow-up posts as my daughter, and I make our first project together and learn how to program the EV3. The most important thing now to my daughter and her mother is to name her, design a cute vinyl bow with her Silhouette and attach it to our robot.