Suggestions for 8th grade 13 year old person

This is the Thundering Herd Christmas which means my nephew and his family will be attending and one of his sons is interested in robotics and such and 3D printing. I was thinking of throwing some of my Arduino stuff in my suitcase in case he wants something to keep occupied.

BUT - 8th graders I think learn different from gray haired adults. So can anyone suggest some appropriate learning materials and supplies?

Thanks in advance for any help and suggestions

You can buy a book telling about Arduinos or buy the Arduino kit containing several experiments, some 12 - 15.

Maybe see if you can find a line-follower robot kit, something that needs a bit of hands-on assembly, followed by a little bit of programming.

Perhaps customize it (and the code) a bit with a few RGB LEDs or something.

BUT - 8th graders I think learn different from gray haired adults.

I remember when I used to bave hair

I did find what looks like a starter kit aimed at younger here

Parallax has a robot, it looks like line following can be added later, Parallax has been doing education stuff for many years and their books are well written, this robot is based on a frame that has been used for some years.

Sparkfun also makes a robot but I was not impressed with it's design and had problems getting it together, finally set it in my box of "to get to later" things

Books and guides can be difficult to sometimes rate from the title and description, I have bought a couple that were not all that well written despite being sold by reputable vendors


I have been working with school kids and Arduino for a while...

Some free starting perspective here on ArduinoInfo.Info:

A robot Kit is interesting; code examples can teach a lot IF the kid thinks that way.

Here's my suggestion:

Click on the "Physical Computing Concepts" and think about how someone might start thinking about All This...

Let us know how it goes!

Something with a physical component to it i.e. something that moves. So motors or servos are good. Maybe build an apparatus that sorts balls by colour and pushes them into different hoppers.

Thanks everyone -

Blinking LED's are fine for some of my learning - but for this I am thinking of more visual things as suggested by @ wildbill & @terry's things have a lot of parts - - so I am thinking of several ideas - still have some time to go

Automatic fish dog cat deeder ?