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Summer SAVY Session 2, Day 2 – Intro to Coding and Robotics (Wheelock)

Posted by on Tuesday, June 20, 2023 in blog, SAVY.

Day 2: Today these programmers learned that their job isn’t always 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. Then we dipped our toes into writing algorithms for our classmates to carry out in order to build a model with cups. Through this small group activity, we focused on the new vocabulary words algorithm, bug, debugging, program, and programming. The students transferred these skills to using blockly coding on They were able to learn a language to communicate with their robot (computer character) to complete tasks. This also highlighted the importance of critical thinking and debugging or fixing errors. 

Problem-solving skills were very important today as we completed coding puzzles on Programmers had to identify what characters would do according to a code that was provided and then shorten that code with loops to make it smaller. It took a lot of critical thinking and trial and error to complete but I was proud of their perseverance. 

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 using the different sensors to learn new tricks. The programmers talked about robots they know use “AI” such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home. Then, they used their creativity and artistry skills to draw and label a robot they feel we need in the future.
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 the construction of a human-like robot. I am so proud of 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? 

Mrs. Wheelock