4th Grade ALP

Growing a Community of Leaders

Highlights of the Programming & Robotics Course

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Programming Basics

Before beginning programming our robots, we learned about what a robot is, what they are used for, and some incredible careers in robotics. We discovered how robots follow directions and how clear our directions or "commands" need to be when we are programming them. We practiced putting in clear commands by learning a little bit of javascript with this website. We noticed how our Lego Mindstorm software used "blocks" and identified the similarities between the types of commands we had practiced using a code like javascript.

During this time we were also connecting the sensors to the robot and the identifying the importance of where the sensors are connected to, what the sensors do, and how they operate. Once all of our sensors were connected, we were ready to begin!
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Investigative Challenges

We learned how to move our robot distances, turn a variety of angles, have it travel faster or slower, apply each of the sensors, and command them to coast to a stop or break quickly. We discovered each of these skills through investigative challenges in each class session. For example, during one investigation, we programmed the robot to go an exact distance and stop immediately at the end. Through this challenge, we learned all about wheel rotations, the variation in power level, and how breaking or coasting can impact where our robot stops.

Throughout these investigations, we mastered many of the basic programming skills such as how to make the robot follow the directions/commands in a sequence, repeat commands (a loop) and how integrating the sensors in our programming sequence has an effect on other commands. We had so much fun completing the investigations and becoming programmers!


obstacle courses

Putting all of our skills to the test at the end of the robotics unit, we took on the challenge of an obstacle course. Our programmers came up with creative solutions to navigate the course quickly and efficiently. After their robot crossed the finish line, they created their own obstacle course to program their robot along. Students that finished their own challenge switched with other groups to test out their skills on other obstacle courses. It was incredible to see the creativity in the obstacle course designs and the maneuvering of the robots to travel through them! Check out the inventive creations for the courses and the incredible programming skills used to navigate them by watching the video at the top!

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Questions to ask your child:

  • What was your favorite aspect of the Programming & Robotics course? Why?
  • Can you describe a time that challenged you to think creatively during this course?
  • How did this class help you look at the world differently or provide you with another perspective?
  • Can you describe to me how you worked as a team member?
  • What was a challenge that was difficult for you and how did you overcome it?
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