Robotics & Engineering

Building and programming robots can be done in classrooms from elementary through college. There are several companies that market robotics kits, but I am most familiar with the one from Legos. There are also several Legos based robotics competitions. The kits include parts to build the robots, but the Mindstorms software allow you to program the robots. Mindstorms is a graphical language that even young children can master, but it is based upon LabView from National Instruments. LabView is used by professional scientists and engineers.

Legos education
Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy
Legos Mindstorms
Tufts Lego Engineering
FIRST Robotics competitions at a variety of levels

Vernier Software and Technology also partners with Legos to allow their sensors and probes to be integrated into the robots. There are Sensor Blocks ( a free download) that allows the Vernier sensors to work with the Mindstorms software.

Vernier also partners with National Instruments and their LabView software for engineering education applications. LabView is a graphical language that creates virtual instruments or "VI's". Vernier interfaces and sensors can be used with LabView to develop many types of engineering projects. There are many samples of projects and free VI's that can be downloaded. Project Lead The Way, a nationally know engineering program, uses Vernier equipment and LabView in some of it's programs. Vernier also has kits for projects using Arduino.

Vernier Robotics & Engineering
Project Lead the Way