Scalability of Lego Engineering for Elementary and Middle Schools

I’ve been wondering how scalable either my ELementary Engineering Curriculum or any other similar program would be in terms of cost per student. So if we assume 24 kids per class, kids working in pairs, teachers sharing the kits by quarters, schools with 1, 2, 3, or 4 classes per grade, and BeeBot at K, Lego WeDo at grades 1 to 4, and Lego NXT at grades 5 and 6, we get the following results.

1 Class Per Grade $37/student $6232
2 Classes Per Grade $23/student $7672
3 Classes Per Grade $25/student $12,664
4 Classes Per Grade $21/student $13,804

Some configurations result in a better cost efficiencies since the kits are more fully utilized. This only includes the cost of the robotics and does not include professional development or associated laptops.

[Note: I revised these figures on 12/21/2011 to more accurately reflect WeDo site license pricing.]

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3 Responses to Scalability of Lego Engineering for Elementary and Middle Schools

  1. Peter Hoh says:

    Have you seen the 9689 sets? Link.

    It’s mechanisms without the robotics.

    I teach engineering with the set 9686, Simple and Motorized Mechanisms. The new 9689 set looks like it might be useful for the lower elementary grades. I saw a set displayed at a conference, and it looked like there was a good assortment of parts. The activities seemed moderately challenging — definitely not as complex as the ones that come with the 9686 set.

    • JohnHeffernan says:

      Sounds like that would be a less expensive way to go. I’ve been thinking about a low or lower cost alternative to the Elementary Elementary Curriculum. I was thinking about using cheap or free materials, for example, recycled materials. Your idea is a good one too. I’ll check into the cost of those kits.

  2. Peter Hoh says:

    There’s definitely a lot you could do with arts and crafts materials, donated stuff, and recycled materials. Several of Bernie Zubrowski’s books are about engineering with everyday materials, though the activities are presented with a science perspective rather than an engineering perspective. Are you familiar with the Engineering is Elementary curriculum?

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