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SCRATCH & LEGO WeDo

 I have recently been introducing my 4 year old twin daughters, Ms A and Ms B to the joys of building and exploring LEGO. One of the projects (which was as much for me) was a LEGO technic forklift. This was way beyond their ability, but they loved helping me finding the bits I needed and then playing with and making the fork go up and down.


After making it I had the realisation that I could program the forklift to do some basic movement using SCRATCH and the LEGO We Do robotics kit.

It was a simple programming task and the results were instant and proved a huge hit with my kids.

 

 

 

The really exciting bit happened the next morning when Ms. B was playing on my computer with the forklift and my 2 yr old daughter Ms. L came over to watch. Ms B proceeded to start explaining what was happening. She carefully explained that when she pressed the arrow keys the fork lift went up and down, and then went onto to explain which piece of SCRATCH code on the screen made the fork lift move.

The code in SCRATCH is highlighted when it is active and she had noticed this and drawn conclusions. For me this highlighted why SCRATCH is such a great tool for teaching students the concepts of programming. There is instant feedback and the interface isn't intimidating.

This post first appeared in my blog - http://byronsmitchell.blogspot.com/

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