So this post is about the stuff I take from the students’ kits before the semester begins. It’s not that there’s not legitimate reason for the kids to have this stuff, it’s just some of it lends a hand towards mischief and the other stuff gets misused or hoarded.
In the pic above you see all the red and blue plastic balls that come with the old Education Resource set (#9965). These get bounced or thrown all the time when I let the students use them. And don’t think it’s just kids! When I train adults, they love to bounce these around or make noise with them.
The big spiral are the conveyor belt tracks that come with the new EV3 kits. These are really cool and there’s a lot of stuff that can be done with them; I’m thinking Great Ball Contraption and similar projects. But what I found when I handed the EV3s out is every group took them and put them together in a loop and twirled them around their arm. So I took them. You can see how large a class set of these is in the photos above and below.
Yes, the Education Resource set used to include LEGO guns. Now there’s a lot of cool things you can do with these and I’m not making a commentary pro or con on guns, but when you put these in the hands of a 7th grader…. watch out. I mean remember how you were at that age. If you were anything like me, you would have been shooting those at the back of your friend’s heads like me. I don’t blame them, I just take ’em.
The NXT Education Resource set includes the claws and orange spikes you see above. The white ones are from the new EV3 kit along with the wing pieces. Again, there’s nothing inherently wrong here, but boy can these lead to distraction. Whenever I do my Robotic Zoo unit, the spikes and claws disappear. Student want as many of these possible and will scrounge around an hoard as many as they can. The wing are new, but are distracting in just the same way.
How do you deal with stuff like this? Leave it to the students? Put it out of reach? Hide them until they’re older? Let me know….