Block 3: This Week At STEAM: Week 5 – Coding Week

This week, the students had a chance to explore a variety of different coding activities.

 

Before the Instant Challenge, the students had a quick primer to coding: they made toast!  Using a flowchart, they had to figure out the different steps to making a piece of toast.  During this process, they learned about coding terms such as procedures, attributes, loops, conditional statements, and syntax.

 

After making toast, the students got to issue Mr. Paintin commands!  Their task was to “program” me (using pseudocode) to move across the room, pick up an iPad, bring it back, and put it down.  They had to utilize the first quadrant of the Cartesian Plane, including X and Y coordinates.  Using those coordinates, they had to write the program to use least lines of code as possible. Most students would issue a command such as “move X+17” or “move Y-22” which would move me either positive or negative along the X or Y axes.  Some students were able to use the command “MoveTo()” and use an ordered pair, such as MoveTo(17,22), knowing the X coordinate was 17 and the Y was 22.  To bring me back to the start, they issued the command MoveTo(0,0).

 

Following the pseudocoding, the students were given a quick introduction to the coding app Hopscotch.  They were shown how to “draw” a feather on the screen.  Their task was to recreate the repeating feather.

 

After lunch, the students visited different coding stations.  They had to program a Lego robot or BB8 to follow either geometric shapes (e.g., square) or pathways (e.g., zigzag).  At the Arduino (www.arduino.cc) station, they had to program the board to independently light up four lights.  Once they could complete that task, they had to create a sequence or pattern with the lights. Using another Scratch interface, the students had to code a Makey Makey (www.makeymakey.com) to act like a video game controller and move a sprite around the screen.  They first had to wire the Makey Makey using alligator clips, then create the program.  At the Little Bits station, students could experiment and see what types of circuits they could create.  The students could also follow the guided levels in Swift Playgrounds to learn more about coding at their pace.

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