The goal of this activity is to build critical thinking skills and excitement for Computer Science / Computational Thinking, while laying a foundation of fundamental programming concepts. By scaffolding basic concepts like sequencing and algorithms in an unplugged activity, students who are intimidated by computers can still build a foundation of understanding. In this lesson, students will learn how to develop an algorithm and encode it into a program.By "programming" one another to draw pictures, students experience some of the core concepts of programming in a fun and accessible way. The class will start by having students view a video of a simple program demonstrating how to develop instructions for building a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Students will start with simple shapes, and progress to the coding of a specific drawing that other students will then try to replicate (“running the program”). If there is a desire to have a more of a Math slant on the lesson, the drawing could take place on graph paper. Students would then use the coordinates to complete the drawing.
This lesson is part of the Virginia K-12 Computer Science Pipeline which is partly funded through a GO Virginia grant in partnership with Chesapeake Public Schools, Loudoun County Public Schools, and the Loudoun Education Foundation. In this lesson, students take on the role of a reporter traveling with Lewis and Clark. Students program an Ozobot to travel along the path and pause at key sites as students report inportant findings and share artifacts from the expedition.
Following Curiosity and Perseverance on Mars often means roving to places with interesting materials to study, places away from the initial landing site. In this lesson, students experience the processes involved in engineering a communication protocol. To reach their goal, students must create a calibrated solution within constraints and parameters of communicating with a rover on Mars. Students will explore the opportunities and challenges of remote robotics by framing the problem around the idea that scientists and computer scientists must work together to successfully program rovers in remote locations like Mars. Students will also explore the idea that a robot simply follows a set of well defined algorithms. Students will be provided a set of possible courses that their robot must navigate. Students will code their robot to navigate around the obstacles within the course to arrive at a set location.
In this lesson students will be able to identify that computers, like the solar system, complete predictable actions based on a set of variables. Students will learn about the solar system via Scratch. They will explore block coding and computational thinking practices as they utilize Scratch as a tool for creativity, expression and learning about the Solar System.