SAVY 2019: Session 4, Day 2 – Intro to Coding and Robotics (Rising 1st/2nd)
Today these programmers learned that their job isn’t always about creating new technology. They became aware that a big part of their job description is fixing or “debugging” programming problems. We started the day reading more of Peter Brown’s, The Wild Robot Escapes, to put our brains in the futuristic mindset of the world of robots. We continued developing our collaboration skills with a lesson on perseverance and frustration. The students worked together to engineer a structure built out of toothpicks and gumdrops that could hold up an iPad for at least 10 seconds.
While learning more about coding, we leveled up with a lesson on angles within shapes. The programmers had to learn different degrees in which a character would turn. They had the hard task of using their character to draw specific shapes while identifying an angle’s degree and the number of pixels they have to travel on each side of the shape. These new skills were transferred to our code.org platform where the programmers worked through online puzzles to “debug” and add loops to finished code.
Continuing with our theme of robots in the workplace, we studied new technology. We learned the specific sensors robots equipped with “AI” use to think and learn new things. We watched a video of an “AI” robot in a home use the different sensors to learn new tricks. The programmers talked about robots they know use “AI” such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home.
Our day concluded with the best part: building our robots. Teams used all of their concepts of inputs, interactions, elements, outputs, boundaries, coding, engineering, collaboration, perseverance and all other things mathematics I forgot to mention, to begin construction of a human like robot. I am so proud at how much our team building skills have improved in just 2 short days together. They progressed much faster through the building process than the day before. These robots take time to put together, but they are still very focused and excited!
Tonight ask your programmers:
What is artificial intelligence?
How do robots use sensors?
Why is it important to know how to “debug” programs?
Why is it important for programmers to persevere?
See you tomorrow for another great day!