5 Fun Activities To Help Your Girls Earn the Ambassador Programming Robots Badge

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Have your girls ever been interested in robot development? If your looking for ideas to learn how to create and design, build and program, and present and show off a robot with your girls, you have come to the right place. Using some of these activities below to learn more about programming robots. Below are a few ideas to get you started.

We partnered with CodeSpeak Labs, which specializes in computer science education for kids, to bring you these resources.  

Programming Robots Activity Booklet

Before jumping into some ideas, do you want to skip all the planning? If so, use the Programming Robots Activity Booklet which includes activities decoding binary, learning about Ada Lovelace, the world’s first programmer, and debugging JavaScript!! With step-by-step activities, you can’t ask for an easier way to run your meeting.   Learn more about this activity booklet and get yours today!

Be sure to also checkout these other activities your girls will love:

Other Fun Robotics Activities

Understand Machine Learning

When the girls are first learning to code, they’ll program a robot to follow simple instructions like move forward, move left, etc. As they do more advanced work, they’ll learn that robots are able to do much more; in fact, they can actually program robots to learn new things. 

Have them watch this ~9 minute video to learn how machine learning works. 

After they watch the video, they can discuss:

  • How do computers learn to distinguish bees and 3’s?
  • Which do you think would learn to walk faster: bots or babies? Why? 
  • Captcha tests are used to prove you are not a bot. Why do you think we get a lot of images related to driving?
  • Why do you think tech companies want so much data?

Read about Artificial Intelligence Bias

This Reuters article entitled, “Amazon scraps secret AI recruiting tool that showed bias against women”, demonstrates just one example of how relying on computer algorithms and artificial intelligence does not eliminate bias, but actually amplifies existing biases. 

Have the girls read the article about the recruiting tool Amazon created that ultimately preferenced male candidates. (Fortunately, the tool was so obviously flawed it was never used.)

In an effort to more efficiently hire talent, Amazon created a tool that ultimately would have led to hiring discrimination in a field that is woefully not diverse.

After reading the article, girls can discuss:

  • Why do you think the Artificial Intelligence tool was so bias against women?
  • Do you think AI should ever be used in hiring processes? Why or why not?
  • How could a better tool be made that is programming to work against biases?

Program a Meme Generator

Memes are all the rage on the internet these days. But rather than just enjoy memes, your girls can actually code their own!

Here’s an example completed project. Press the green run button at the top and then follow the instructions on the right. You’ll upload a photo and then can add any text you want. 

On the right hand column, you’ll see there’s 3 files: index.html, script.js, and style.css. This project uses HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

You can either have the girls play around and edit the code the example provides (e.g., the code on style.css changes how the text appears on the screen), or they can all set up a new project on repl.it and type the code from scratch. 

Try Soldering! 

If the girls have been doing the earlier robotics badges, they probably have experimented with beginner robotics kits, many of which have pieces that attach with magnets, etc.  Now that they’re older they can try soldering! Soldering is used to form a permanent connection between electronic components.

This Lighthouse Beginner Soldering Kit is a fun way to start. There’s a video on the page where you can see what the process looks like.

It includes a lighthouse PCB and base, battery holder, four resistors, two transistors, two capacitors, a power switch and a white LED. You’ll also need a a soldering iron and solder and a CR2032 coin cell battery, which you can buy below the main posting under “Hookup Accessories for Lighthouse Beginner Soldering Kit.” 

If the girls want to start with a kit that doesn’t require soldering, the littleBits Code Kit is fun. It has 10 lessons that have some basic building and then coding.

If you don’t want to buy any hardware, our Robotics Activity Booklet has everything you need — no other materials required! 

What do we do after your girls complete the activities?

Well of course give them the badge to display proudly on their vest, they earned it!  You could also do a fun patch. Here is a real cute one:
Robotics Fun Patch

Get Your Robotics Fun Patch Now

Additionally If you are like many leaders we want to award our girls when they complete something even beyond just the patch. One great way to show achievement is with a certificate. Don’t worry you don’t have to make them, I found a resource that has done all the work for you and all you have to do is print them and customize the certificates with each girl’s name, badge or award earned, date, and troop leader.  Editable certificates perfect for awarding girls after earning a badge.

Related Activities For Multi-level Troops

If you have a multi-level troop you may want to use one of the variations to this program that is geared toward the age of your girls.

K – 1st grade activities:

2nd – 3rd grade activities:

4th – 5th grade activities:

6th – 8th grade activities:

9th – 10th grade activities: