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I am considering gifting some Mindstorms NXT 2.0 to school, because I think they would get great value from it. I see that there is an "education kit", and I wondered if that's the way to go.

Does the "education" stuff have real advantages for schools?
Does it offer anything over and above the regular kit?

If anyone has any experience, I would love to hear.

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2 Answers

As far as I'm aware, there's no NXT education version other than WeDo and ED-E...the Humanoid Robot Starter Pack.

I would get in contact with your schools administration to see if they already have a LEGO education program. There are 140 Lego Educations centres across the world that offer after school programs.

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The mindstorms educational set can be seen here: education.lego.com/en-gb/products/mindstorms/9797 –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Dec 8 '11 at 18:56
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There is an educational version. It is set number 9797.

The NXT 2.0 set is set 8547.

Both come with:

  • 1 - NXT brick
  • 3 - Motors
  • 1 - Ultrasonic range sensor
  • 2 - Touch sensors
  • 1 - 20 cm cable
  • 4 - 35 cm cable
  • 2 - 50 cm cable

The NXT 2.0 has some things the education set does not:

  • 1 - color sensor
  • 1 - Test Mat
  • Software (The education software is sold seperately! from the educational set)

The education set has some things the NXT2.0 set does not:

  • 1 - Light sensor
  • 1 - Sound Sensor
  • 1 - Rechargable battery module
  • 1 - AC adapter for rechargable battery module
  • 3 - Converter cables suitible for use with original mindstorms acessories or 9V technic motors and light bricks
  • 2 - 9V technic light bricks
  • 1 - Durable storage system

The two sets also come with different assortments of peices, with the educational one contained fewer total peices, with more that would integrate with original mindstorms or technic kits.

The education kit is designed to used in conjuction with an existing parts collection, or with an Educational resource kit, basically bulk parts. Two such kits exist. Both come in a storage system much like the educational kit.

Set 9648 contains an assortment of traditional technic style parts with a slight emphasis on the studless beams, but still containing many studded components.

Set 9695 is newer and has more parts, with a strong emphasis on studless design. Relatively few parts have studs.

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The software is sold separately so that you can purchase multiple licenses of it for each PC in the lab, or buy more sets without having to purchase the software again. Note also that the educational software is slightly different to the standard software as it can gather data from the NXT brick for processing –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Dec 8 '11 at 18:59
    
Currently on my phone so editing's tricky, but the link for the educational version is: education.lego.com/en-gb/products/mindstorms/9797 –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Dec 8 '11 at 19:02
    
The software is only slightly different? I'm surprised, since back in the RIS days the educational software was totally different, and in fact, many schools dumped it in favor of alternate langauges like NQC. –  Kevin Cathcart Dec 8 '11 at 19:54
    
Ok, well, I'll rephrase that as "The educational software is different to the standard software as it can also gather data from the NXT brick" - I believe that the both versions of the NXT software are based on LabView - unlike the RIS software which was very limited in it's interface and options. –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Dec 8 '11 at 20:43
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