Robotics and Coding suggestions for grade 7/8 classes


First Lego League

First Lego League is a robotics competition.  The challenge is released in August and competitions run in late November to December (you can progress to provincial or world’s later).  The theme this year is Into Orbit.  There are three parts: building a Lego EV3 robot, researching and solving a real world problem and practicing the Core Values.

Huntsville High School hopes to run the competition in December 2018

Registration information Cost $299 USD (there are grants to cover this cost)
Lego EV3 Kit Cost $429.95 (The robot can be used for multiple years)
Lego EV3 Software


Microsoft’s MakeCode site allows you to program (tutorials provided!) in your browser.  There are three main options I use:

  • micro:bit – this microcontroller is really easy to use.  You can simply use it as is or use alligator clips to connect to headphones or other electronic devices.  I would suggest buying at least two micro:bits ($26 each) so you can use the bluetooth to communicate.
  • Lego EV3 – I am loving this, you can test code and see the JavaScript version without needing to build a robot.  Combining it with a physical EV3 robot is very powerful.  There are a few features that it doesn’t have yet (being able to read the motor rotations as a sensor value) that make me not sure whether to use it instead of the EV3 software.
  • Minecraft – program Minecraft!!!

Hour of Code


Create 3d models.

Create Arduino circuits and code them.


AutoDesk Inventor

Pretty complex 3d modelling.



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