My organization would like to start running groups. I’m going to do the first with 3 brains and 9 3rd-5th graders.
I have a few kits and have built some working robots with kids, using my mac.
Any advice on low cost laptops that are good fits?
I’m going to try 3 kids per brain. Do you think 1 laptop per brain is needed or do your programs/classes work well with fewer laptops? I’m thinking different groups will be building and programming at different, but unpredictable, times.
3 kids per team (robot brain) is a good ratio.
Programming is one of the most difficult things to get kids that age started on. We get ours started using Flowol (a visual programing tool that uses flowcharts). The kids just seem to grasp this quicker. After they get comfortable with that, and start to notice the limitations, we graduate them on to RobotC. It helps if you transition them with sample RobotC programs that have functions similar to the output boxes of Flowol.
There are other options too. Modkit is another visual ‘blocky’ language that many teams start with. RobotC also has a graphical version similar to Modkit.
Flowol works on a Mac, but RobotC must run under Windows. You can get a Windows emulator for your Mac and run RobotC from there, but there are extra costs and complexity.
When you are getting started you can probably share one laptop for all three of your teams.