Class 1: February 29, 2008
We held our first class today for 1.5hrs, from 12:30-2. There were 14 home-schooled students aged 7-12 years, out of which only 2 were girls.
The class started with introductions of ourselves, Bryn Mawr College, and our project. They filled out our pre-survey before we talked about computing so that their opinions wouldn't be influenced.
When asked what computing is, these are a few of the responses:
- computing is fun - computing is about computers - computing is something you can have a job with - computing is programming
When asked about robots many had the impression that they had are made out of metal with circuits inside and seemed to relate it to computer chips. Some of their responses were:
- something that can be programmed - an arm - something that moves - metal body with wheels - something that can have wheels, feet, or can float - something metal with circuits that can be programmed
When asked if a car is a robot, they all seemed to agree. However, they did not seem to think that a refrigerator is a robot until we mentioned the automatic light fitted inside.
This class was an introduction to Myro and the Scribbler. The students learned to connect wirelessly to the Scribbler, name their robot and then had fun controlling their robot with a gamepad. We had set up a closing activity for them which involved finding Mars in a solar system (please see Chapter 1 for details). However, due to time constraints, this activity was not carried out today. We hope to find time for it in the future.