Data Representation: Encoding & Decoding Data


Bee-Bot Treasure Hunt:

An activity for early years students could include the use of Bee-Bots (See picture below) and a ‘narrative’ that students will need to follow the Bee-Bot map/direction given to them in order for the Bee-Bot to find the ‘treasure’

Students can first have a look at the vocabulary and  images that symbolise directional instructions (i.e. arrows for “backward,” “forward” etc; see image attached).

Then, they can have a go at planning out a ‘route’ for their class mate(s) to send their Bee-Bots along in order to find the treasure. This will involve the students drawing a list of instructional symbols that lead to a certain spot at which the student needs to place a picture or a box of treasure (a craft activity in class could be to make little treasure boxes.)

Students pass their directional map to their partner/group who then have to decipher the directions, program the Bee-Bot to take that route and hopefully get to the treasure successfully.

An activity like this has multiple benefits. It can be done in pairs or small groups or as a whole class. It exposes students to symbolic (pictorial) representations of data (i.e. the arrows) as well as the vocabulary of Bee-Bot Coding. Furthermore, this is fun and engaging and can challenge students. An extension can include more complex routes or racing two Bee-Bots at the same time, taking different routs and seeing which one gets to the treasure first.

Example of how Bee-Bots can be programmed to move along a particular route

(Images sourced from TeachersPayTeachers and Pinterest).

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