Lego WeDo

Jul. 27th, 2010 11:39 pm
entirelysonja: (Default)
Today I bought a new netbook, initially for the purpose of running the Lego WeDo software -- our Mac laptop is too old, and my netbook runs Linux. Of course I could have installed Windows on my netbook, but given the cost of the license, it seemed to make more sense to buy another netbook.

It's an Eee PC 1005HAB, and it runs the Lego WeDo software just fine -- except that when I tried to install the Activity Pack, I got an error saying that it couldn't be installed because msvcr71.dll was not found. Luckily, we were able to use the main part of the software without installing the Activity Pack, and I later resolved the problem by copying the msvcr71.dll file out of the Lego WeDo directory into the C:\WINDOWS directory. Since Windows is not an operating system I'm terribly familiar with, I'm glad I was able to resolve the problem without tearing my hair out.

Anyway, Erika had fun building the lion -- I handed her the pieces as she needed them, but she was able to put it together by following the instructions. She also dragged all the program components into the right places, though I told her what to do. She did understand what they did, and why they were needed, so I'm sure she'll be able to write her own programs in a fairly short time. Karl woke up from his nap while we were working on it, which then led to contention between the kids about who would get to push the keys to make the lion sit up and roar or lie back down and snore. Ah, well.

Picture of the kids with the WeDo )

I'm looking forward to continuing to work with the WeDo set together with Erika, though she's quite attached to the lion, so it may take a while before we move on to another model!
entirelysonja: (Default)
I got an e-mail from the Homeschool Buyer's Co-op that they were offering LEGO robotics items at discounted prices... and after several days of deliberations, we were unable to resist the LEGO WeDo robotics kit, marked for ages 7 and up. I feel confident that Erika and I will be able to make sense of it next year, even if she will only be 6. :-)

I figure it'll be a nice gentle introduction to robotics and programming logic before moving on to LEGO Mindstorms at some future point. I know Mindstorms can be used by young kids, but based on my personality and Erika's, I think we'll do better starting off with the little kids' version.

In other news, Erika has started to read a bit in German. I was quite surprised to see her read a couple of things in German over the last week, including a poem that was several stanzas long. I suppose I shouldn't be so surprised, since I know I learned to read German the same way, but I was.

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