If you're wondering if he'll like it, you can always start him out with some
of the new "Inventor" sets.
They aren't very expensive and would help to familiarize him with the Lego
Lego even has a section on their site that allows people to earn "merit
badges" for learning about different aspects of the building process. If
you haven't been building with Lego for long, it can point out some helpful
tips and tricks about building things with Lego.
Of course, the Lego Mindstorm kit itself is quite sufficient. It has a lot
of Lego pieces and excellent instructions and walk-troughs for building most
He might also find the pieces from some of the "Technic" sets to be helpful
for his own constructions in time.
If you can afford it go for the full Lego Mindstorms Robotics Invention
System, I believe is now in version 2.0. The simpler sets can get boring
quite quickly. The extra sophistication of RIS is a great help to
A new RIS owner should get some large compartmentalised plastic boxes to
store the host of annoying little bits. The shipping container doesn't have
nearly enough compartments to store some 300 different items.
Remember both AA (x6) and PP3 batteries (x1) Battery life is pretty good.
Modern sets use a USB connection to talk between the RIS and the PC.
You can very quickly start to want the ultimate accessories expansion,
that's more money but includes that pesky rotation sensor.
The only real downer is the cost,
He will miss a lot of the educational porential if you and he concentrate on
the Minstorm brick and overlook the huge value of the interlocking blocks,
gears, shafts or axles, etc. Check the book "Building Robots with Lego
Mindstorms" by Ferrari, Ferrari, and Hempel, published by Syngress. There
are some curricular programs for use in schools with lesson plans available
online. Our local middle school participates in F.I.R.S.T. LEGO League.
The kids have amzed us by their ingenuity and problem solving skills. One
of my sons is the manager of a software engineering group at a major
software firm. His group is made up of individuals (male and female) from
around the world. The single thing they all have in common is that they all
"played" with LEGOs as kids and most of them still do. I think that in the
long run, your investment in the LEGOs and Mindstorm kit will be a good
investment in his future.
http://www.lugnet.com/ (LEGO Users' Group)
and there are many personal websites that are dedicated to LEGOs
Everybody was born right-handed, only the gifted have overcome it
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