Quick Start Tutorial: LEGO Mindstorms NXT

The  LEGO Mindstorms NXT Robotics kit is a wonderful way for kids ages 8 – 100+  :-) to build and program robots.  Follow these steps, in order,  to teach your kids about LEGO Mindstorms NXT Robotics, using free online resources:

  1. LEGO Mindstorms NXT: A Brief Introduction & Tutorial Part 1 is an 8 minute YouTube tutorial by Chad Cardwell which teaches about the parts of a LEGO Mindstorms Kit.
  2. LEGO Mindstorms NXT: A Brief Introduction & Tutorial Part 2 is a second 8.5 minute tutorial by Chad Cardwell,  which introduces how to program a LEGO Mindstorms Robot.  It is just an introduction, but I think it’s a good one.
  3. Create a free account at the Computer Science Student Network.    It gives you free access to lots of computer and robotics training, include the NXT Video Trainer software that used to cost $300.  Once you create an account, log into the account.  After logging in to the account, visit NXT Video Trainer 2.0 and follow the tutorials.
  4. Alternatively,  you could follow the Oregon Robotics Tournament & Outreach Program’s tutorial & exercises:
    1. Essentials
    2. Advanced
  5. By this step, you should have  a good grasp of the basics and some advanced skills.   For robot ideas, visit the following sites:
    1. Projects for NXT 2.0
    2. Projects for NXT 1.0
    3. LEGO Mindstorms NXTLOG 2.0 Projects

    These are good sites for cool designs, but for more, just do an internet search for  “LEGO Mindstorms NXT designs”.  Lots of sites will pop up.

  6. LEGO Engineering: Building & Programming has the NXT Constructopedia Beta 2.1 that you should also take a look at.
  7. Here are some of my favorite books.  I  bought them for my son, as well as a local elementary school robotics club that I started:
    1. The Art of LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT-G Programming
    2. LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT: The Mayan Adventure (Technology in Action)
    3. The Unofficial LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Inventor’s Guide
    4. And I want to buy this book: Winning Design!: LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Design Patterns for Fun and Competition
  8. Visit VA Geek Mom’s Store for other products I like and use for my FIRST Lego League team.
  9. If you want to start a FIRST Lego League robotics team, see my FIRST Lego League Coaches tutorial


7 comments to Quick Start Tutorial: LEGO Mindstorms NXT

  • Wendy

    I am so happy that my quick start tutorial on LEGO Mindstorms NXT is what you were looking for. I plan to produce more similar tutorials on the following technologies for kids: GameMaker, Alice, Arduino, HTML, Microsoft Kodu, SAM Animation, Geocaching, Scratch & WEDO robotics (for early middle schoolers), and many others. On my blog is another tutorial on Scratch – a graphical programming language for 7 -12 year olds – which is developed by MIT. It is a wonderful & free technology for kids. My goal, through my blog (which is just getting started), is to make it easy for busy parents to learn these great available STEM technologies, so they can teach them to their kids. Busy parents want to teach their kids these things most of the time, but the start-up time investment usually keeps it from happening. I am glad you persevered with your hunt. Please pass my website (www.vageekmom.com) on to others. If you would like to receive other tutorials like these via email, just subscribe with your email address at my website.


  • […] Projects to do Here is a site that contains tutorials and projects for NXT teams. I suggest that we build and program a couple of them at the next meeting….. This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← Name Ideas […]

  • Reynolds Langstaff

    Hello Wendy

    I just got a Nxt 2.o robot and i have built it but do you know any cool things that i can teach it to do on the disc. It just shows all this stuff that looks like microsoft excel and i don’t know what to do

    please email me if get the chance

  • Wendy

    Hi Reynolds,

    You must load the NXT G programming software on your computer in order to program the robot. Have you gotten that far yet?


  • […] Quick Start Tutorial: LEGO Mindstorms NXT | VA Geek Mom's Roberta non è una ragazza, è un robot. È il nome scelto per un robot da un'associazione di donne imprenditrici della Repubblica Federale della Germania. È anche il nome di un progetto, finanziato dal 2001 dal Ministero dell'Istruzione della Germania, dedicato a promuovere la robotica tra le studentesse degli istituti primari e secondari. Il Ministero dell'Istruzione tedesco aveva evidenziato, già alcuni anni fa, un calo significativo delle iscrizioni di ragazze a istituti secondari e facoltà tecnico scientifiche, con un conseguente declino di giovani scienziati. È chiaro che le donne europee sono un potenziale non utilizzato, nei settori della ricerca scientifica e delle professioni collegate alla scienza e alla tecnologia. […]

  • Medhansh

    I got ev3 please provide tutorials for the same.
    10 years

  • […] for NXT 2.0. Quick Start Tutorial: LEGO Mindstorms NXT • A Geek Mom's Journal. Week TechVideo, 2008 #12 – Theo Jansen (Kinetic Sculptor) creations, made with LEGO. Too much in […]

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