Daddy's Home - How to Program a "Robot" in 3 Easy Steps

Robot MazeComputer programming has been described as the new literacy of the 21st century.  It is an art form that requires students to utilize logic and higher level thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis, and application.  In this installment we learn how to program a simple "robot" and learn some basic programming concepts.  This blog post contains information and resources for those attending the JASCD TIOM 2013 although anyone and everyone is welcome to this post.

In Part 1, we will start with a paper-based version. Using the paper-based version of this will allow students to learn the basic concepts and practice their "programming" skills without the use of a computer.  For those students with computer access, they can go on to test their skills with an interactive demo.

In this lesson, students are challenged to come up with the proper commands that will guide a robot through a deadly maze to bring energy home to its family.

For Part 2, we will move to the computer where students will take the commands they came up with in Part 1 and test them to see how well they work.  See the video below for an example:

One of the main challenges is to ask students to make a program that uses the fewest commands possible to get the robot home.
 
Part 3 is an interesting extension activity where students are shown how to edit the code to create their own maze. This is a great way to get students interested in programming through hands-on experience.
 
Resources:
 
Presentation
Part 1: 

Part 2:

Part 3:

 

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