Teaching Robotics and coding to High school students

I am now teaching robotics at the Ignition Lab in Kansas City, Mo. I am using the VEX V5 kit. It has it’s limitations and frustrations.

The kids like to build and drive the robots around but they hate coding. I still don’t have a good solution for teaching coding to high school students.

Ignition Lab pictures

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I have found robotics a good platform to teach coding because when you write the code you can see something in the real world (the robot running the code)

I have found the most important part of teaching coding is the kids learning how to create an algorithm/set of instructions to perform the task. I find using a lauange that has easy syntax means their brain power can focus on the design on the algorithm rather than syntax of the language. I find MIT scratch is by far the easiest to teach for beginners then python as they progress.

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Great Answer !

To add up, the advantage of building robot application, you can combine practical math solutions.

For instance, when you need to compute a variable angles (as long as you have the distance between you and object and you know the vertical height), you can use atan to yield using trigonometric functions.


Therefore, not just teaching coding technique, try to visualize abstract concept in physics and math and realize it to actual application. If I knew this back in my high school (I am a korean), it would be easier for me to learn those and had a fun.

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