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Summer SAVY 2017, Session 2/Day 2- Robotic Programming (Rising 2nd/3rd)

Posted by on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 in SAVY.


Today was a challenging day!  There were lots of smiles and hoorays and some frustration!  We started the day with an enigneering meeting, and we spoke about the importance of small steps that can impact the whole code.  We talked about how real programs and systems are constantly being updated to correct problems, and that is one of the norms for programming.

It is really hard sometimes for gifted kids to not catch on quickly and easily.  Sometimes, they view that as failure, but it is actually one of the most powerful ways to learn because you learn more from mistakes and challenges than you do from things that come easily!  One of the tricky things that they ran into today was that they had to calculate time and speed to determine the distance that their Sphero would travel.  They also had to be really careful to follow the correct sequence, but the hardest part for kids with programming is remembering that you have to program everything!  It won’t move if you don’t tell it, it won’t turn if you don’t tell it to, and so on.  That can be tedious and frustrating!  However, I was so proud of each one of them because they really made great progress, celebrated their victories as they solved the challenges, and were so incredibly proud of themselves when they persevered and completed the challenge!

At the end of the day, they worked on learning how to load the Sphero program, drive the Spheros, and to troubleshoot with them when they weren’t performing correctly.  They have now graduated to the point where they can work on writing programs for their Sphero tomorrow.  That will be very exciting!
One thing that you can do for them would be to allow them to download the Tynker app and they practice programming in a fun, kid friendly way.  I use that to get them used to writing code before we jump in to the Spheros, and they really enjoy using it!  There are several programming arenas that look like games, but they are great tools for teaching coding.
Have a great night!

Dr. Mall

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