What it is: Robot Obstacle Course is an excellent introduction into programming for young kids. Students are presented with an obstacle course made up of colored blocks and keys. Students must program the robot to jump over the obstacles and pick up the keys to complete the course. Through the obstacle course, students are introduced to basic programming language and learn how to think like a programmer. The obstacles get progressively more difficult and more variables are added.
How to integrate Robot Obstacle Course into the classroom: Robot Obstacle Course is a fun way for students to get an introduction to programming skills. The Obstacle Course includes a lot of logical/mathematical thinking as they decide which variables to adjust to get the robot through the course. For students younger than third grade, consider completing the courses as a class using a projector connected computer or interactive whiteboard. Talk through each problem and ask students to offer possible solutions before you test out your robot. For older students (third through fifth grade) the courses can be completed independently on classroom computers or in a computer lab setting. As students test solutions, discuss why the solution works, or how the solution should be adjusted for the robot to preform successfully.
Tips: This game will put students observational skills to the test! If you don’t have time for a full game, this is a great thinking activity for those few extra transition minutes in the classroom, project the activity on the board and if they are ready for the transition (for example lining up) they can come up to the board and test their solution on the way to the line.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Robot Obstacle Course in your classroom.