NOTE as of May 2013:
Quote from Mitch Resnick 05/10/2013:
“Thanks for your message.
I have been Scratch-ing with LEGO WeDo kits, and my high school level students absolutely love it!
The LEGO® Education WeDo™ robotics kit is normally ear-marked as an elementary school product, and Scratch was developed by MIT for young children to be able to program, but the combination of the two has tapped the interest of my elementary school daughter, my middle school son, and my Computer Science students at the high school level.
But when you download the Source Code and view it within Scratch, you can understand the purpose of the programming.
These intro projects give easy-to-follow LEGO directions within the Scratch window.
My favorite section is the WeDo Starter Projects that provide downloadable Scratch files to utilize the Distance Sensor, The Tilt Sensor, and the Motor. We modified the motor project to lift a platform of LEGO Men provided from the WeDo kit. Our challenge was to create a way to make sure the platform stops at a safe level without knocking off the LEGO men.
Complex projects were created at the MIT Lab and you can download the Scratch Files:
- Submarine Rescue – interactive adventure
- Balancing Robot – I wish they would post the LEGO designs so we can build the same bot
- King Duck vs. Fatman Protagonist -interactive balancing and storytelling
- Caterpillar Love Story – AWESOME storytelling
- Skiing Moose Ferris Wheel – I wish they would post the LEGO designs for the arm-swinging moose
Many of these projects require teachers or upper-level students to build the components, but once built the storytelling capabilities are incredible.
The robotic LEGO WeDo components that work in Scratch are a Distance Sensor, The Tilt Sensor, and a rotating Motor. The new Science Standards of Learning in Virginia indicate students must have an understanding of probeware, sensor, and accumulate data. The LEGO WeDo components also give numerical indicators on the Scratch Screen of distances and tilt values that can be transferred into authentic data. When the distance sensor shows a value of 2, students can measure with a ruler the distance and chart the values. When the tilt sensor shows a value of 3, students can determine how many degrees equal a value of 3.
NEW! (June 2013) There is now a LEGO WeDo Resource Set for more authentic examples of engineering (ferris wheel, crane, cars, and intelligent houses) versus the traditional LEGO Education WeDo Contruction Set (alligators, birds, and monkeys) for younger children.
UPDATE: (May 2013) This Project has won a RichTech STEM Educator Award!
(Sept 2012) This Project has won a Governor of Virginia COVITS Award!
Innovative Use of Technology in Education
Winner: Atlee High School
For: Scratch and LEGO WeDo for High School