Robot Turtles!

Wednesday, December 6th 2017

6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Morgan A

Registration for this program opens on November 17.  For ages 4-6.  An adult caregiver must accompany each registered child and is expected to participate in the games. This program will be offered alongside the Annual Hour of Code.  This program is ‘unplugged’ and does not include access to our laptops.  Limit: 8 parent/child teams.

The first week of December is the International Hour of Code.  We’re trying to help achieve the goal of having as many kids around the world do an hour of code during this week.  Now our youngest patrons can code too!   Come with your child to play Robot Turtles, a board game developed by a programmer/entrepreneur for his own twins that became the Kickstarter with the most backers in history!

Robot Turtles sneakily teaches preschoolers the fundamentals of computer programming while being silly with their families.

Kids play the game with a grown up, using Coding Cards to program their Robot Turtles to reach their matching Jewel.   As play advances, obstacles like Ice Walls and more complex cards like Lasers and Function Frogs are introduced.  The best part is that kids have all of the control,  acting as programmers to direct the adult partner, who becomes the “computer”.  As kids create code, the adults respond with goofy ‘beeps, boops, zaps and buzzes’, eliciting shrieks of delight and belly laughs.

Robot Turtles teaches:

  • the Programmer/Computer connection – kids understand the advantage of learning how to talk to a computer.
  • Coding – Kids learn to write a program in small steps, giving one command at a time and watching the outcome.
  • Mistakes are OK – when a program isn’t working properly, it has a BUG!  Fixing the bug is called debugging.  It’s just like finding a mistake and correcting it!
  • Code is a language – Kids use simple commands (move forward, turn left, turn right) in the form of Code Cards, to “speak” to the computer and tell it exactly what to do.
  • How functions work – Kids learn that functions can be used to represent a repeating sequence and to create a shortcut.
  • How to solve problems –  The task of Robot Turtles is to move your turtle to the jewel by navigating around obstacles.  This learning can transfer into real-life situations by helping children practice:
    • breaking big problems into smaller steps
    • working backwards from goal to solution
    • visualizing multiple solutions
    • persevering and experimenting
    • being patient