Year 8s Zoom Ahead With Robots
Year 8 Robotics and Coding is a class offered by the Technology & Commerce Learning Area. The course is new in 2020 and aligns with Digital Technologies in the Australian Curriculum. The class content and activities have been co-created with students and has given our girls opportunities to practise some challenging skills and learn something very valuable – the very language behind their computer’s screen.
One of the tasks we have been working on is to program a small mini-computer, called a MicroBit. These MicroBits are programmed in a computer language called Python. In order to do this, students must learn how to write this language and communicate with the MicroBit in a way it can understand. The ability to write using Python is a highly valued and flexible skill in the industry. Just like learning a second human language, being able to use one computer language makes it much easier to learn subsequent languages.
Python is the language behind Google, Facebook, Instagram and Netflix, among others!
We spent time over the remote learning period learning how to master our skills in Python. Now we are back in the classroom, it is time to transfer those skills to our robotics study.
After some initial instruction and discovery, girls have been able to design and select challenges for their MicroBit and attach it to a small robot called a MiniBit. These MiniBit robots give our coding the ability to move! Some of the challenges involve creating responsive pets, drawing (using a pen attached to the MiniBit), rescue missions, dance-offs and obstacle courses. It has been great watching the girls learn how to solve complex problems and work together to achieve a goal.