After a few tries, I finally managed to score a spot in one of the Plano Library free Robotics Workshops.  They fill up quickly, so I set a reminder on my phone for just before registration opened (9am, two weeks prior) and boom – we were in.  This is a great way to do a special project with your child(ren).

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A WeDo alligator – it even made chomping noises!

They have WeDo sets for the younger kids (it says ages 3+, but I think it’s more like 4+) and EV3 sets for the big kids (ages 10-15). You get to pick which set you do.  The youngest kids in our group that were participating were 4 and 5 year olds.  Some of the families using WeDo sets built more than one model.

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Since my older son is 11 we opted for the a Mindstorms set, and he selected one of the more complicated models (of course).  You can build your own thing or follow the instructions, but since we had never done this before we wanted instructions.  It took us two hours to build!  There were 112 steps.  Another family I spoke was attempting a simpler model, and they had around 75 steps.  I think around step 75 I lost my kids completely.  We had split up the work, but even then I did the last 30 minutes by myself, while my older son called himself stupid for making mistakes (because he’s really hard on himself) and my younger son happily built stuff out of leftover pieces (because after a few steps he wanted nothing to do with this project).

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They are getting punchy at this point….one is taking too many photos (with tints) on my phone and other other is just messing around.

Good thing I like Legos!

We finished, got some help uploading the program, and it worked!  The kids were thrilled and spent the next 15 minutes testing it out again and again.  While this was mentally draining, it was a lot of fun.  I’m not sure I’ll ever buy one of these sets, so it sure was nice to get a chance to play with one. The library staff was really helpful, and it was fun walking around to see what other families had built.  Thank you Plano Library!  Visit the library calendar to find upcoming workshops.