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5 Fun Activities To Earn the Junior Programming Robots Badges
Time to read 3 min
Time to read 3 min
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 later present and show off a robot with your girls, you have come to the right place. Using some of these activities below to teach your girls how the mind of a robot works and how to code it.
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!
Before jumping into some ideas, do you want to skip all the planning? If so, use this Activity Booklet with tons of hands on activities and puzzles that teach girls how robots work. These activities include using binary code, creating their own algorithms, and even writing real code to control a virtual robot. With step-by-step activities, you can’t ask for a easier way to run your meeting. Learn more and get yours today!
Be sure to also checkout these other activities your girls will love:
Robots need to follow the instructions that programmers give them. Split the girls in pairs– one girl will play robot first, and the other the programmer.
While the robot girls wait in another room where they can’t hear, have the programmers write a set of instructions out on paper that the robots will have to carry out. You can give them something straightforward (e.g., make a jelly sandwich), or allow them to think of something silly (e.g., take a selfie doing a funny dance).
When the robots come in, give them their “programs” (the instructions). The programmers cannot give the robots any additional instruction beyond what is written already. This teaches the girls they need to be very clear in their instructions; if the robot is confused– that’s an area when the program can be improved! Have the them take turns being the robot.
Robots are all around us– can you find them? Take the girls to a shopping mall and give each of them paper and a pen/pencil. You can split them into teams if you want to make it a competition. The goal is to find as many robots as possible. Girls have to write down the name of the robot and its function (what does it do?)
E.g., Roomba: it vacuums floors
Robots think in “binary” based on ones and zeroes, or on and off. Use the binary decoder below to figure out the secret message!
What does the secret message say?
One of our favorite robots for kids is the Dash Robot. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s durable and the apps you need to program it are free. If you get multiple robots, your girls can have a robot race! Set a starting and end point and give them a set amount of time to program their robot race code. For a more advanced race, you can make a track using painter’s tape (see below).
If you don’t want to spend the money to buy a robot, our Activity Booklet has step-by-step instructions on how to program a virtual robot. All you need is a computer with internet access.
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.
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:
6th – 8th grade activities:
9th – 10th grade activities:
11th – 12th grade activities