Getting Jr. Structural Engineering Kits for Self-Serve Schools
If you are considering bringing Ascendly to your school, and plan on being a Self-Serve school, one of the things to decide upon is how to procure the kits needed to run the class. You can procure your kits through Ascendly, saving you some hassle, but you can also save yourself some money, and maybe reuse existing resources at your disposal, by procuring them yourself. This document tries to give you an overview what you’ll find in the kits, what items are optional, and how to buy the items.
Every class needs one class-wide kit, and each student needs one individual kit. A lone home-schooled student would need one class-wide kit and one individual kit. A 16 student after-school enrichment class would need one class-wide kit and 16 individual kits. The kits, as described, fit neatly onto one cart for classes of, up to, 16 students.
Class Kit for 16 student + instructor
- Shop Fan: used in a couple of classes
- Visual Aids: Pictures of bridges, skyscrapers, etc.
- Typically printed in color on 11×17 paper – they can also be shown via 8.5×11 printouts in either color, or black and white. These are also available for download.
- Large Shopping Bag: used to keep a class’s worth of kits organized
- 10 Liter Flat Storage Box: Used to store nametags, blank paper, visual aids, etc. A large, flat, storage container can sit nicely on top of a stack of individual kits
- Nametag boards & name-tag clip-ons: Used to learn student names and to give the kids the sense of doing something official.
- Cart: used to move your equipment around – it just makes things easier
- Strap: To hold stuff down onto the cart
- Extension cord: used for the fan
- Pencil Holder: used to hold the pencils. Nice to have, but not required.
- Mini-figure case: used to keep the mini-figures organized.
- Admin Kit: Spare marker pens, nametags, Band-Aids, pliers, roster, etc.
Normally, every student should get his or her own kit. Having extra kits can be nice in case additional students join the class, or if some little siblings just need to be entertained. Although you obviously want enough for the size of your class, you’ll also want to consider logistics, namely around moving them. I recommend 16 kits for a typical class, or 8 for a small class. Multiples of 8 fit nicely into the Ikea shopping bags I sometimes use.
Also, you’ll want to consider the color of the bricks. Ideally, every unique shape will have its own corresponding, and unique color. This uniqueness facilitates learning from other students since you can quickly glance at the color patterns in other creations to see which types of bricks were used, and where. Uniformity also helps during clean-up, since both young and old can trivially spot the miss-sorted brick. On the other hand, it can be difficult to obtain uniformly colored bricks since LEGO doesn’t have a related retail offering. Using an assortment of colors, practically speaking, is nearly as good.
- About 175 2×4 bricks
- About 350 2×2 bricks
- About 100 1×2 bricks
- About 100 1×1 bricks
- 16×32 base plate (or larger)
- 1.5 Liter Boxes: Used to store bricks (2 per kit) – one for 2×4 bricks and one for 2×2 bricks
- Well, you can store the bricks in whatever works for you, even zip-lock bags.
- About 100 1×2 45 degree slopes
- 1 mini figure
- 1 Cafeteria Tray
- Blank Paper
- Graph Paper
Where to Buy
You can purchase the individual and class kits through Ascendly. You’ll receive all critical and optional items, including a bricks that are color-shape unique. This also includes a starter package of consumables. And, just so you know, although you can request your favorite brick colors, you’ll have to accept whatever is in inventory. Some items might be lightly used, depending upon availability of new stock. I’ll also include 11×17 color copies of the visual aids. Basically, this will be nearly identical to the same set of kits that I use in the classes I teach. Just directly contact me if you would like to buy the kits through Ascendly.
However you get your stuff, by either putting it together yourself, of buying through Ascendly, please feel free to contact me with thoughts or questions.