It’s difficult to imagine educators might run out of things to do with the new LEGO Mindstorms EV3 sets, given the seemingly infinite combination of bricks, expansive community with lesson plans, model instructions, and robust software. But sometimes, you just want to stretch your legs and do more. For those go-getters, LEGO Education is offering an 853-piece Expansion Set.
The set contains a huge range of elements and is intended as a supplement to the EV3 Core Set — there are no servos, sensors, or programmable brick to be found in the expansion. But it has plenty to allow students to take their robotics to the next level. In the box, you’ll find a variety of gears, a large turntable, robot personalization parts, unique structural elements, and standard elements like beams, axles and connectors.
You may have noticed in the software, there are a half dozen really fantastic models listed under the “Model Expansion” tab. There’s a tank with gripping treads, a robot that can climb stairs, an elephant that can walk, lift its trunk and roar, and a gremlin-like monster called Zapf — all of these can be built with the Expansion Set. But that’s just the beginning of what you can do with the Expansion, because — like the Core Set — you are limited only by what you can imagine.
I had the opportunity to build a number of models (and play on my own) with the Expansion Set. While the gears and the turntable are likely to get a lot of attention, I really liked the structural elements, which allowed for the locomotion of my LEGO pachyderm. STEM education is squarely in the spotlight these days and the Mindstorms curriculum is so strong, there’s an outside possibility that the “E” in STEM might just stand for EV3. One thing is for certain though, the Expansion Set really expands the boundaries of what students can do with the EV3 Core Set.
The EV3 Expansion Set, 45560, is available now for $99.95
Disclosure: GeekDad was sent a sample of this product for review.