LEGO introduces WeDo kit
LEGO today announced the WeDo kit, which is meant to be not just a younger kid version of the Mindstorms but is designed to appeal to "emerging markets" -- developing countries -- and even interfaces with the OLPC XO computer to do so, which I think is pretty sweet.
Like the Mindstorms kit it comes with a kit of LEGO bricks and sensors and has a similar building-block software interfaced based on LabView, though it's simpler and aimed for a younger audience. The press release describes something of the curriculum they have in mind for it:
Working in teams, children invent their own solution by building a LEGO model and programming it to perform a certain task. Cause and effect learning is enhanced by the models remaining tethered to a computer; similar to scientists in working labs, children can test and adjust their programming in real time. After reflecting on what did and did not work, students can consult with peers, adapt programming, adjust models or begin again.
Unfortunately it's not up on the LEGO website up, and there's no hint on how much it'll cost. Only info at this point is that it will be available in January 2009.