Log in

Robotics for Intermediate

Started by Lynne Crowe 29 Nov 2016 6:33pm () Replies (11)


We are wanting to start some robotics groups in 2017. This year we have had a play with Scratch and some Sphero robots. We have recently been to a demo of VEX IQ and are keen on what that has to offer. We have also looked at lego robotics. Our problem is that we mainly use chromebooks. We have a couple of windoes machines per class, sets of chromebooks and one small set of ipads. With byod, most of our students have chromebooks! 

So while cost is a consideration, we are wanting some advice on what path we should take. We envisage having some students with quite advanced coding knowledge down to the keen novice. 

If we had groups of around 20 students, how many 'robot' kits would we need? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • Emma Scobie-Jennings (View all users posts) 30 Nov 2016 10:22am ()

    We have been using a Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot for the last few years.  As Chris has said they are on the expensive side but the reliability and versatility of them pays off.  However I've only been working with groups of 10 or so, any more than that and it gets a bit messy and students don't have enough involvement to keep them motivated.  

    These work through a computer programme that you download for free so I would imagine would be fine on a Chromebook. 

    We have entered the First Lego League tournament for the last 3 years, this has been really great to encourage the students to work towards something with their learning.  

    Hope that helps!

  • Lynne Crowe (View all users posts) 30 Nov 2016 7:43pm ()

    Thanks Emma. Are you an intermediate? I like the idea of only 10 students - this would certainly bring the robot cost down. Do you have students working in pairs, small groups or individually - just thinking of the number of Windows computers I may need if we decide to go with VEX.

  • Linda Baran (View all users posts) 30 Nov 2016 8:34pm ()

    I agree with Emma, that the EV3 may be worth the initial cost outlay. Lego is so reliable and easy for all ages to work with (we are using them with Year 3-8, one eV3 between 2 students).  The sensors work well, you have the option of datalogging and we have also purchased science add-on kits that can be used to investigate renewable energy (solar, wind).   There are a few grants around - our PTA managed to fund 6 EV3s through a grant application.

    Chromebooks would be a bit limiting for robotics - most robots (I think VEX and EV3 anyway) would need PC or Mac to run the software.  I can't think of any robotics software that works in the cloud that would be compatible with Chromebooks.

  • Lynne Crowe (View all users posts) 01 Dec 2016 3:07am ()

    Thanks Linda. What would you suggest as basic requirements to get started using Lego? Can you recommend a supplier?

  • Linda Baran (View all users posts) 02 Dec 2016 6:45am ()

    Hi Lynne

    Modern teaching Aids:  http://www.teaching.co.nz/product/LEG45544-1

    We started with 6 kits, but with small groups, maybe 3 kits??  Expensive, but there is so much flexibility with them.  

    This is the science expansion kit - it's really good!!  http://www.teaching.com.au/product/LEG25576N

  • Lynne Crowe (View all users posts) 02 Dec 2016 7:56pm ()

    Thanks for the replies everyone. Having looked at both VEX IQ and Lego Mindstorms, I am tending towards VEX! I was impressed by a demo VEX gave at a local intermediate and their pricing and components are affordable. They also offer lots of support in NZ and have some great resources to begin with (many of which can be used with EV3).

    I would love to hear from anyone who has experience with VEX! We are not committed to anything yet, so the research is continuing!!!

  • Stephan van Haren (View all users posts) 12 Mar 2017 8:35pm ()

    Hello Lynne

    Sorry I didn't see this post before but I have got quite a bit experience with VEX IQ. I teach it to year 7/8 at my school in Palmerston North, and also do holiday programmes for primary/intermediate students, currently helping out some primary schools as well. 

    It goes without saying that I think that VEX and VEX IQ is the best thing since sliced bread. It offers so many levels of success, not only with technology and programming but also with communication, cooperation and planning. The competition element uses a format of teams working together, which is just amazing.

    Don't hesitate to contact me for more info or look at the kiwibots.co.nz website for more info under VEX IQ

  • Lynne Crowe (View all users posts) 29 May 2017 6:00pm ()

    Hi Stephan

    I'd really like to contact you as I want to begin purchasing some VEX sets but not really sure if what I plan is right. Can you email me lynnec@teawamutuint.school.nz?



  • Philippa Nicoll Antipas (View all users posts) 13 Jun 2017 10:43am ()

    Kia ora Lynne,

    I am a facilitator with the Connected Learning Advisory, which is a free service to state and state-integrated schools and kura. If you lodge a query with us, we will be able to support your research into robotics kits for your Intermediate. You can do this online here, or by phoning 0800 700 400.

    Ngā mihi,


Join this group to contribute to discussions.

e-Learning: Technologies

e-Learning: Technologies

Where we explore how different technologies can support learning.