This year, at NIWeek 2008, we saw a demo of the new Lego WeDo platform that allows primary school students, 7–11 years of age, to build and program Lego robots. The demo was given by a youngster named Sara, who showed how to program robotic animals like a pro, using LabVIEW. (here’s a video of Sara that will blow your mind — jump to the 8 minute mark).
Seriously, watching this keynote demo almost made me cry (in a happy way). I get very emotional seeing kids who are excited about learning and being able to express their creativity (it probably has something to do with the fact that I also love Legos, LabVIEW, and robots).
Last year, at NIWeek, we saw Samuel Majors, a 10 year-old wiz kid who uses LabVIEW to control model trains. I can’t wait to see what kids are doing with LabVIEW, next year. And, I can only imagine what these kids will be doing with LabVIEW when they hit the work force!
It is really amazing what an opportunity NI and Lego are providing young people and I hope that every parent get’s this message:
Start your child programming Legos in LabVIEW, now! Computers aren’t just a window into the world and a way to find information. Those who can effectively use computers to automate our world are in top demand, and that isn’t ever going to ever change.