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Summer SAVY 2016 (Session 3, Day 2) – Modeling Motion

Posted by on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 in Grade 1, Grade 2, SAVY.

Tuesday has sped by us.  The genre of computer programming we are working in is called agent-based programming and modeling, and taking the perspective of the computational agent is key to making sense of the commands.  We’ve been working on “thinking like” the agent.

The programming language we are using is called ViMAP (Visual Multi-Agent Programming; vimap.k12.net).  Students created first programs today––simple rules for the turtle to draw a square.  Polygons are a great start for us because they make meaningful use of loops (repeat) as a control structure and give students opportunity to take charge of commands for movement. I love to see them associate the combination of simple commands with specific agent actions. Our introduction to the programming language will serve us as we continue to models of our robots’ motion. 

If you’d like to download the agent-based computational modeling environment that we used today, you will find it here: http://github.com/vimapk12/ViMAP/releases/tag/1.  It does require JAVA, which you may download for free. Instructions are on the GitHub page.

Tomorrow, we plan to make the transition from “constant speed” and forge ahead with a new and more complex example of motion: acceleration due to gravity. 

Forward, turtle!

Amy