Review: Bee-bot


Robot Basics: What is it?

A simple robot that teaches coding and sequences for children as young as 3

  • What’s in the Box?  the Bee-bot and a charging cord.We also ordered the sequential cards.
  • How Much?   the website says $89.95 according to the website. The cards were another $24.95
  • Age Range?  Ages 3 and up
  • How Did We Acquire it?  Grant funds through ILEAD-USA

The STEM Room at Downers Grove Library


In the Spring of 2013 our library was making plans for a renovation.  We went on field trips to other libraries and noticed things we liked here and didn’t like too much there.  Really, we had small dreams: new carpet, improved lighting.  We were pretty content with our department, we just really want to be refreshened.  Then I had a conversation with our director and he said to me, “Encourage big thinking!” Well, dreaming is when I do my best brainstorming and one night (April 23, 2013 — I checked my Google drive), I woke up at  4 a.m. with ideas.  I went downstairs and started typing.  One of the things I typed was

create a STEM space: I don’t know what this means yet….robotics; digital media; creative, it could be as easy as a hands-on place to see Science at work. Maybe this would be just watching and graphing an avocado seed grow…

I haven’t read that in a while and I confess to be surprised by that particular verbage. Did I really use the word robotics? Where did I get that idea from?  I notice I capitalized science.  That was either a middle-of-the-night mistake or intentional–Science as a living breathing thing.

Bee-Bot Command Cards: ideas for use

Programs, Reviews

A follow-up to the Bee-Bot Review:

Yesterday on Twitter, my fellow robot enthusiast Sharon asked: “If you have a beebot, how are you using the cards? Feeling like they aren’t needed. Showing vs. doing, doing wins, right?” I responded, “I think you could use them to set up a route, point A to point B, if it advances one card-length.”

I didn’t want to leave it at “if,” so today I tested the Bee-Bot against the cards, and it does indeed advance one card-length. I’ve only used the Bee-Bot with the youngest of toddlers so far, and they truly do like pushing the buttons and watching things happen. As a way to keep them engaged a little longer, I’ve tried to get them to plan out Bee-Bot’s route, such as, “Have it move from here to knock down that stack of Legos” (appealing to their destructive tendencies). I think that’s when the cards become useful, as a tangible way to plot out a course and as a measuring tool for how far the Bee-Bot will advance.