Creating algorithms with Bee Bots

The Bee-Bot’s child friendly layout is a perfect starting point for children to learn about control, directional language and programming.

To understand what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices, and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions.

To create and debug simple programs.

To use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs.

To design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts.

Photon

We are delighted with our new Photon Robots. Our School Excellence – Digital cluster has received the first of these robots to Ireland. Logical thinking ability is becoming an increasingly important skill and we know that children love to learn by experimenting. Photon gives children programming related challenges that allow them to develop their logical thinking ability while having great fun.

EV3 at Drinagh N.S.

As the world grows more technologically complex, computer science and computational thinking are becoming even more crucial fundamentals for students to learn. Since you can physically see the results of your coding exercises, robots offer a uniquely engaging format for learning these concepts. By its nature, the study of robotics inherently incorporates all four pillars of STEM while also encouraging teamwork, problem solving, and leadership for our students

There’s a lot of learning theory that says that experiential learning is very beneficial to children as it gives them concrete experiences to connect with the more abstract, theoretical STEM concepts. Making attempts that don’t work—and figuring out why they didn’t—is a crucial part of the learning process. When children are learning through testing and troubleshooting, they’re developing a sense of confidence that it’s OK if it doesn’t work the first time.

One of the main features of robots and coding is the collaboration between the children – watch the video below and imagine the conversations. “How did you do that?” “How do I fix this?” “Look at this” “If you change that around it might work” “you need to put in a decimal point there”. All the children are engaged with their learning and collaborating with each other

EV3 Mindstorms – Sumo Bots

We were delighted to start exploring our latest robotic and coding kits – EV3 Mindstorms. The older children have started building Sumo Bots using their EV3 robotics kits. There is quite a bit of research involved in both the design and coding of a Sumo Bot. Each Sumo Bot is coded before competition – they are not remote controlled. The first challenge was to code the Sumo Bots to recognise the boundary line of the arena – using a colour sensor, reverse away from it and change direction. The next step will be to code our Sumo Bots to seek an opponent, using a motion sensor and to drive towards that opponent. The children are having great fun working on different coding ideas and robot designs to create the ultimate Sumo Bot.

Scratch at Drinagh N.S.

Scratch programming allows children to bring their creations to life through animation. Creating is a huge part of future-focused education. Scratch programming gives children the opportunity to become digital creators.

Scratch – coding a Pac-Man

The children had to create a Pac-Man type character as part of a Fís Film we were making. This was a perfect opportunity to use Scratch Coding.

In the first scene the Pac-Man appears on the classroom whiteboard and moves across the screen. The children drew a new sprite Pac-Man 1 using Scratch.

They then created a second costume for this sprite.

It was now time for a bit of scratch coding to create the animation.

 

The Pac-Man eats a decimal point while the “teacher” is explaining decimals. The children drew a new sprite – A decimal number.

They then created a second costume with the decimal point gone.

There were a couple of ways the children could code this part. One way was to use a wait block

Now we just had to play the programme on classroom whiteboard while the children acted out their parts. Lets have a look at the finished scene.

Scratch is free to download. The Scratch Offline Editor can be downloaded here.

https://uploads.scratch.mit.edu/scratch2download/