National Instruments has launched the NI LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS, a new version of professional LabVIEW graphical system design software.
The new version is focused on education and created mainly for secondary school students who would use it along with the LEGO Education robotics platform in competitions or in classrooms. It is a teaching tool that would allow students to program and visually control the MINDSTORMS NXT robots and at the same time learn the software which is normally used by engineers and scientists. The software joins the existing series of LEGO Education robotics platforms such as the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education NXT software for middle schoolers and LEGO Education WeDo software for elementary students.
According to Stephan Turnipseed, President of LEGO Education in North America, the new software completes the company’s portfolio of LEGO Education robotics learning platform that focuses on robotics for all ages. They could now provide an age appropriate curricula and hands-on–learning technology ranging from elementary to advanced levels.
The LabVIEW with its tutorials, instructional videos and teaching resources, could be used in classrooms. Students are introduced to complex concepts such as scientific measurements and autonomous robotics with real world examples and substituting incomprehensible syntax with an easy-to-understand graphical interface.
According to Tim Jump, who is the Director of Advanced competitive Science at St. Louis’ St. Margaret College Preparatory School, his students learn better by doing and the hands-on learning offered by the LEGO robotics helps them to explore and experiment and learn engineering concepts which would help them in the future.