Fall SAVY 2018, Day 1 – Intro to Coding and Robotics (3rd/4th)
Dear SAVY Parents and students,
Thank you for making this first Saturday of learning opportunities a great success! I think the all-day experience worked well, especially for our course. We were able to have concentrated amounts of time to go deeply into numerous topics and activities, and it yet the day seemed to fly by!
We began our day with truly challenging task, in fact almost impossible, in order to talk about productive struggle, persistence, and the opportunities of FAIL (first attempts in learning). We can learn to embrace failure as evidence that we are truly taking on rigorous challenges and striving to solve worthy problems. Through the text, The Wild Robot Escapes, we reflected that robots can be given orders or commands in order to do work. Roz was designed to be a farmbot (we learned that robots are designed to specialize in certain tasks), but the children in the story wanted to order her to do their homework. Could Roz do homework? We decided the better questions would be should Roz do homework? What criteria should we use to determine when to delegate tasks to humans and when to delegate tasks to machines, robots, and computers?
In the lab, we increased our skills of completing tasks using blockly style code to solve puzzles. How can we move our character, and what algorithms are most effective for doing work. What is the difference in effective and efficient code? Can we harness the capacity of computers to do the “heavy lifting” of repetitive tasks? In the classroom, we leaned to both drive and program our Sphero robots to follow commands. Why did the robots sometimes execute our programs in a sloppy manner with the “draw” function? How can we increase the specificity of our programs for greater accuracy? What tasks require levels of increased accuracy?
We will follow up on these and many more of the questions we discovered today next week! You may want to take on an Hour of Code with your child this week. You may want to continue to observe, analyze, and discuss tasks that are best suited for humans and best suited for machines. What are some examples of systems we observe in our environments (education, transportation, weather, etc)? What are the elements, inputs, outputs? How can we harness the power of information and computer systems?
See you next week,
Learning How to Program Our Spheros