Teaching RobotC for Mindstorms

The Robotics Academy at Carnegie Mellon University has released new CD ROM-based curriculum titled Teaching RobotC for Mindstorms. This curriculum is an update to the C-Based Educator that includes coverage of the NXT. Some of the new materials include chapters on:

  • Thinking about programming
  • Speed and control
  • PID control
  • Sensors
  • Variables/passing parameters

The training videos will teach the new programmer step-by-step how to program in C using all of the power built into the new LEGO NXT. (This product also works with the RCX.) Included are:

  • 53 videos
  • Over 300 pages of printable PDFs
  • Over 30 example programs

Review Teaching ROBOTC for Mindstorms at http://www.education.rec.ri.cmu.edu/robotc/webpreview/. You can also get more information on RobotC at http://www.robotc.net/lego/.


Can anyone comment a little on their experience w/ RobotC? I'd like to introduce it to my 6-8 graders but don't know if it would be over their heads. The turtorial videos seem to be geared to that level and a higher.
I have not used RobotC with those grade levels, but I do teach programming to kids at those levels. Based on my experience teaching Visual Basic and Python to kids that age, I don't believe RobotC would be over their heads.

However, I have also found it to be more productive if you start them with a visual language (like NXT-G) and focus on the logic first - then introduce a textual language after that. We even do that at the community college where I teach - we use Alice (www.alice.org) as our language for our intro to programming before moving on to VB, C#, C++, or Java.
Anonymous said…
I have to agree with Larry. The NXT-G program will be much easier for younger kids to understand. Once the kids develop a sense of what is involved(i.e. terminology, etc.) in the programming, it's just a matter of changing that knowledge into a text-based program rather than a visual one.

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