The activation process for the software is cumbersome and buggy. On the plus side, the tech support staff is unusually helpful.
1) An outstanding introduction to the RobotC language for the beginner, with the latest version of RobotC included.
2) A great example of applied programming. The student learns the language by programming the robot to do specific tasks, like going through mazes and navigating obstacle courses.
3) Outstanding video tutorials that provide step-by-step learning of the language and the tasks involved.
4) Helpful, printable worksheets that amplify the material provided in the video tutorials.
5) The price. Most MINDSTORMS products from Carnegie-Mellon come with a classroom license, which drives up the cost. This "RobotC Student Pack" is for a single user only, which makes it more economical than the classroom version.
6) Although the product is only advertised for Windows XP, the latest version works perfectly well on Vista.
People can, of course, purchase ROBOTC for a cheaper price as a stand-alone product. But for those who want graduated tutorials and handouts to go along with their software, $90 is a fair price to pay and worth the cost.
The RobotC Student pack is available here.