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Programming is a required course for engineering freshmen students enrolled at Universidad Autonoma de Baja California. This course a has high drop out or failure rate since most students have difficulties in creating structured algorithms and learning a high level programming language. An elective course called Introduction to Programming teaches algorithm problem solving methods in order to facilitate student success in the programming course. Nevertheless, this course is still very abstract to students since it's mainly creating flowcharts and pseudo code of their algorithm. Students also have several handicaps to overcome: very limited computing knowledge, if any at all, English (used while programming) and some come from very limited income households. This paper will present the use of Lego Mindstorms and Robolab in the introductory programming course in order to overcome the handicaps by the time they enroll to their first programming course.