The second Tech Tuesday for Parents taught by the Tech Department provided a hands-on learning opportunity to experience coding/programming with software and robotics that the boys use across the different divisions. Parents spent the hour rotating through five different stations that included: Bee-Bots and Blue-Bots; Kodable; Scratch Jr.; Scratch; and Robotics.
Bee-Bots and Blue-Bots are robots that are programmed to teach the Lower School boys counting, sequencing and problem-solving.
At Allen-Stevenson, Kodable is used as a foundation for Scratch Jr. and Scratch. Kodable identifies code as a language by applying algorithms to complete computational tasks.
Scratch Jr. is an introductory programming language in which graphical code blocks are snapped together to write script. At Allen-Stevenson, it is used predominantly in the First and Second Grade to create animated characters that can tell stories.
Through Scratch the boys learn the concepts of programming. They have to analyze what is happening to understand each of the steps. Currently, there is a Middle School and an Upper School elective in which discussion centers on the elements of a computer action game, with analysis of the components of existing games. This is followed by the creation of a general description by each boy for a self-made game. Boys then break down their descriptions into the tiny details to form a step-by-step plan and, finally, they use their plan to produce their game using the Scratch programming language.
The robotics station had parents working out the precise distance their robot had to travel between two pieces of tape, before programming it to perform this maneuver. To begin, they measured the distance then established the unit rate for the rotation of the wheel using division…all steps that the fourth graders follow to complete this very same project.
Parents were thoroughly engaged in programming at all levels and enjoyed having the chance to better understand what their sons are learning or will learn at School.
Please join us for the next Tech Tuesday on January 30, 2018, to discover everyday apps for databases, language and music.