Summer SAVY Session 5, Day 1, Programming and Robotics
Day 1: These programmers had a great first day conceptualizing the world of robotics! We started by reading the first page of Peter Brown’s bestseller, The Wild Robot Escapes. This allowed us to discuss how robots know what tasks to perform. We started 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 a book for at least 10 seconds.
The students transferred these skills to using blockly coding on code.org. 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. We were introduced to the Sprite lab, and no, it’s not a lab full of Coca-Cola Sprites. A sprite in programming is a graphic character on the screen with properties that describe its location, movement, and look. The sprite lab was a light introduction to coordinate planes and the x and y-axis. The sprite lab can be very difficult to maneuver, and the blocks become much more advanced. I wanted to present it to give them an opportunity to see what is next in the world of code.
The overarching theme of the week focuses on the effects of robots in the workplace. Today we learned that AI or artificial intelligence makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs, and perform human-like tasks. We listened to a short informational video that talked directly about AI in warehouses. Then, we watched a video and discussed how the company Amazon used robots in their warehouses. This allowed us to debate the causes and effects of robots in the workplace and problem-solve real-world issues.
The most popular part of the day was combining our engineering skills and programming skills to build Lego Boost robots and have the robots complete small missions. As the week goes on, these missions will be harder. The most important aspect of the day is that these programmers learn to work together as team members. We are continuously talking about how to problem-solve with others to create success!
Tonight, ask your programmers:
- What types of jobs were the robots in the Amazon Warehouse performing?
- Was a human able to do that job before the robot?
- Why do you think Amazon has robots filling orders?
- What are the benefits and downfalls of robots in the workplace?
This is an amazing group of analytical thinkers, and I cannot wait to see what we can develop together this week!