Task 7 – Option 2

Option 2: Describe a classroom activity that incorporates a visual programming environment (it can be any included in this module or another environment that you come across).

Last year I ran a lunch time STEM Club using the Dash & Dot Robots.

Dash is a small mobile robot that is full of character and drives around making noises and shining lights. With its performance and multiple sensors, it interacts with and responds to its surroundings.

Dot is its sidekick, and it, too, is full of character. The robots help kids learn the basics of robotics and coding at home or in classroom settings.

We ran the course over 4 lunch time sessions with 10 students that worked in pairs. Over the course of the month students used different apps to

  • Students used the Blockly App on the iPad to familiarise themselves with the programming environment. They started with the introductory activities and made their way through the puzzles to make ‘Dash the Friendly Snowman’
  • Students used the Wonder App and the Launcher Kit to program Dash to throw a ball into a plastic cup.
  • Students built a ‘gripper’ arm out of Lego. They then programmed Dash to create some art by having the gripper hold a coloured marker that was dragged across a piece of A3 paper. The junior classes used the Wonder App, whilst the older classes used Blockly to program the sequence. Students challenged themselves to create different shapes and found this process to be a lot harder than it sounds.


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