Thursday, February 15, 2007

LEGO NXT storage: Option 1

I'm using the LEGO NXT in a club setting. First order of business was to find a way to organize and store the pieces. Among the requirements: portability. That ruled out a parts organizer such as the Akro-Mils 26 Drawer Storage Center. It might work well on a desktop, but the slide-out drawers could open up in transit, creating quite a mess.

Set management might not be an issue for most LEGO enthusiasts, but for teachers, this is an important issue. LEGO Engineering is conducting a survey on this here.

I first tried the Plano 5231 Stow-N-Go Organizer.

All the parts fit in neatly, and the top section prvides 27 small compartments for separating all the little elements. This is important, because it's annoying to have the small parts mixed together.

The deep lower portion holds the NXT processor, the motors, and the red and blue balls. Plenty of room for beams, sensors, and cables. So far, so good.

At the LEGO Club, however, the kids found that this storage system was a bit awkward. They preferred to work with the sections separated, so they could spread them out on the table. That's fine, except that the sections do not come apart easily. And when the sections are separated, the lid really needs to be removed, too. Of course, the lid is designed so that it won't come undone without some effort.

Overall review: This is a great box for carrying the NXT elements. It closes securely, and it has sufficient compartments. While an individual might find that this works well, it doesn't work well for a group of students when it comes to building.

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