Summer SAVY 2019: Session 2, Day 3 – Programming and Robotics (Lauren W.) (Rising 3rd/4th)
Blog Post Day 3
Today we hit the ground running! It started with a presentation of robots that some programmers had brought from home. This was an exciting way to see different types of robots and be able to connect the coding skills we have learned to new technology. We were introduced to new vocabulary and new blocks to use while coding. We can now identify repeating patterns with multiple steps and apply nested loops within our programs. But we didn’t stop here! These programmers learned to draw with their characters as we focused on measuring angles in degrees and measuring movement in pixels.
Then, we started our journey to conquer conditionals. This process requires problem solving using sequential true/false statements. We played a card game that had rules written in conditional format. To do this we practiced “if…then…” statements and added more conditionals with “if….else….” Such as “If (red card drawn) your team gets a point. Else (red card not drawn) other team gets a point. This is an advanced skill that can be difficult to pick up. I am really proud of the perseverance I have seen while working on puzzles with conditionals.
This afternoon we studied Margaret Hamilton who is an eminent person in the field of programming. She led a team to develop the program for the Apollo moon missions. We read an article about Margaret in Beanz magazine to find the skills other than coding that Margaret needed to be successful. After watching a video about her experience programming the Apollo missions, we debated the question, “Was debugging the most important part of the Apollo missions?” A situational thinking map was used to think through the point of view of all of the stakeholders.
The day concluded with the groups finishing their Lego Boost robots. The programmers built the belt and the arms on the robot before they programmed it to move.
Tonight ask your programmers:
Why do you need to know angle measurements to code characters to turn?
What is a nested loop and how does it help you while programming?
Why are conditionals important to a program?