An introduction to robots and programming for younger students. With an intuitive interface, these colourful programmable robots will have learners excited about simple sequencing and directional language. Students work in pairs or groups of three.
Level: Available for Foundation to Level 2.
Duration: Available in a 60 or 90 minute format. We recommend a 90 minute format if budget and timetabling constraints allow.
Numbers: Each workshop can cater to a maximum of 30 children. However, smaller groups have better access to equipment and the facilitator.
Understand the three basic components that define a robot.
Robots cannot think for themselves, they must be programmed.
Exploring and tinkering – trying new things and seeing what happens – is a useful way to learn. We don’t always need to wait to be given formal instructions.
Students learn the range and number of commands available to program Program-A-Bot with, and how Program-A-Bot responds after completing the commands.
Students learn how to sequence a step-by-step program for the Program-A-Bot to complete a task, how to enter the program into Program-A-Bot, and how to get Program-A-Bot to execute the program.
Students compare the effectiveness of using a set of instruction cards to create the right sequence of steps for their algorithm, rather than just trying to ‘think it through’.
Students test and review their algorithms to see if it results in Program-A-Bot successfully completing the task. They modify and re-test as necessary.
Students program the workshop presenter to perform a simple task. This provides insight into how programming language needs to be very specific and step-by-step.
Students have an open-ended period of exploration before being given any instructions about how Program-A-Bot works. They share what they discover.
Students work as a class with the presenter to create an algorithm to move Program-A-Bot through a maze. They use cards to sequence the instructions.
Students undertake a challenge to teach their Program-A-Bots to ‘dance’ and follow the same commands at the same time!
90 minute workshops also include these activities:
Students create an obstacle course and then program their Program-A-Bot to navigate it successfully.
Victorian Curriculum Links
Identify and explore digital systems (hardware and software components) for a purpose (VCDTDS013)
Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (VCDTCD017)
NSW Curriculum Links
Identifies the components of digital systems and explores how data is represented (ST1-11DI-T)
Defines problems, and designs, modifies and follows algorithms to develop solutions (ST3-3DP-T)
Australian Curriculum Links
Recognise and explore digital systems (hardware and software components) for a purpose (ACTDIK001)
Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)
Anneliese engaged the students really well. They were thrilled to be able to take home snow and the UV bead keyring.
Kangaloon Public SchoolWicked WeatherMarch 22, 2021
Lisa from Mad About Science is absolutely brilliant (so is the whole team really!). She was amazing with the kids, great with our kids with additional needs and just ran the experiments in a wonderfully fun and interactive way. I couldn’t recommend Mad About Science highly enough.
Etelka RoncBirthday PartyMarch 20, 2021
Dale was fantastic! The students were so engaged and loved the range of activities he did with them. Thank you for an excellent, informative and fun day!
Living Faith Primary SchoolNatural DisastersJanuary 21, 2021