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Lego NXT. It’s what’s for xmas.

Lego Mindstorms NXT
This Christmas, if you are the parent of a 10-17 year old kid, and you buy your kid an expensive gadget that isn’t the item shown above, say an mp3 player, or a video game console, or even another type of robot, then you will have missed out on an excellent chance to not suck as a parent.

What is pictured here is a Lego Mindstorms NXT system, and the difference between this and that Nintendo Wii or that iPod that your kid is asking for, is that the Nintendo and the iPod will make your child a consumer of technology.

The Lego NXT system will make your child a creator of technology – a skill far more rare, far more in demand, and ultimately far more valuable. It’s not just a single robot but a construction set for making and programming thousands of robots and other kinds of intelligent machines.

I’ve taught numerous classes for kids at Art Center that use the older generation of Lego Mindstorms (which are also great), and I have seen firsthand what a wonderful experience building and programming your own robots can be for kids. They are one of the very few opportunities kids get to develop applied math skills in a fun and interesting way.

Despite the rumors you may have heard about Lego shortages, there are still plenty of NXT systems at amazon, and elsewhere. Get thee hence and purchase one for your kid. Or yourself for that matter. My kids aren’t getting their dirty mitts on mine.

In a related story, robots think humans taste like bacon!. So you might want to encourage your kid to build only vegetarian robots…

Happy holidays. :)

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