July 26, 2017

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SLJ Reviews LEGO WeDo 2.0

1604-TK-LegoWeDo-Frog20Model

“Ms. Hanson! Are those the new LEGOs? Can I build a frog?”

—Jack, sixth grader

Building is only part of the excitement of LEGO Education’s new WeDo 2.0 kit. Use robotics and coding to teach elementary students about physical sciences as well as technology and engineering with this rich classroom resource.

FEATURES Design a space rover, tadpole, earthquake simulator, and more with the 280 building pieces included in the WeDo 2.0 kit. A Bluetooth-enabled Smarthub, a motor, a motion sensor, and a tilt sensor are also included. Accompanying curriculum software and apps provide guided lessons and feature a sharing platform where students can record their work via writing, drawing, images, and video, to be downloaded as an image file or PDF.

Two apps are available for use with the kit: LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 Start or Full (free, iOS and Android). The Start app provides access to four beginner projects—Milo the Science Rover, Milo’s Tilt Sensor, Milo’s Distance, and Collaborations. The Full app adds eight guided projects and eight open projects. Guided projects provide step-by-step instructions for assembling each device, while the open projects start with images of the devices, but leave the construction to the creativity of the student.

© rcfoto

© rcfoto

Short videos feature LEGO characters Max and Mia investigating a problem. Students are then prompted to explore a set of open-ended questions through the creation of a device. For example, users might build a pull-robot to explore friction and movement of objects. Or students may attempt a floodgate to examine how to prevent flooding. Each of the guided projects provides multiple avenues for exploring different solutions with Max and Mia and also documents work to enable sharing.

WeDo 2.0 will be compatible with Scratch in spring 2016 for Mac users and summer 2016 for PC users.

PRICING Individual LEGO WeDo 2.0 kits are $159.95 and include the core set of building materials and curriculum software. Educators can also purchase the ReadyGo classroom pack or the YouCreate classroom pack. The classroom packs are the same except the YouCreate pack does not include the LEGO WeDo 2.0 curriculum. ReadyGo classroom packs range in price from $750 for eight students to $1,970 for 24 students. YouCreate classroom packs are $700 for eight students and $1,930 for 24 students.

Online professional development courses accompany both classroom packs. E-learning program 1 accompanies the YouCreate pack and is an introduction to WeDo 2.0 that does not cover the curriculum materials. E-learning program 2, in the ReadyGo pack, is a deeper dive. Both programs can be purchased separately. Face-to-face training led by LEGO Education certified instructors is also available for schools.

1604-TK-LegoWeDo-ScoreboardVERDICT If your students love LEGO—and who doesn’t?— they’ll have fun using the WeDo 2.0 kit to learn about science and engineering. Add this resource to library maker spaces or science classrooms for hands-on learning and actively engage students in scientific inquiry, problem solving, and critical thinking.

This inspiring collection of lessons and designs will have even your youngest students constructing and coding in no time.

Jennifer Hanson is director of library services at Worcester Academy in Massachusetts.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

About Jennifer Hanson

Jennifer Hanson is director of library services at Worcester Academy in Massachusetts.

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