I recently took Botley to my son’s second grade class for their spring party. We had a robot themed party with several different robot activities. Botley is a 77-Piece screen-free coding robot set designed for ages 5+. The second graders had a ton of fun learning how to interact with Botley and seeing just a fraction of what he can do. Adding Botley to the classroom was great for National Robotics Week.
We divided the class into groups of 4 or 5 and sent them to the different robot stations. At Botley’s station, I wanted the students to each have a turn programming Botley to travel through a short course. I set up a simple maze for Botley and asked the students to help Botley carry a ball to the goal.
My son was in the first group. Aiden happily taught his classmates how to program Botley. He showed them how to visualize Botley’s moves by carrying Botley through the course and pushing the arrow buttons along the way. Botley also comes with coding cards. Use the cards to lay out the steps of your program. This helps plan your route and allows you to fix mistakes more easily.
Aiden and one of his classmates successfully programmed Botley to navigate my maze and reach the goal.
They redesigned the course and each of the other students in the group took a turn with Botley.
The second robot station used two Code & Go™ Robot Mouse Activity sets. I set up the same maze for each of the robots. The students had to program their mice and then race them. Whose mouse will reach the cheese first?
When group 2 moved to the Botley station, they already had some experience programming the robot mouse. Botley works the same way (plus he has added features like object detection and programming loops). The students from group 2 took their turns with Botley.
The students in the different groups changed Botley’s course or added blocks, poles, and other obstacle course pieces.
Once the students had rotated through all the robot activities, I allowed them to choose whatever station they wanted. This allowed them the opportunity to finish any of the robot projects they started or to get more time with Botley or the robot mice. Find out about the rest of the robot party activities on Inspiration Laboratories.
More Games to Play with Botley
In addition to creating a path for Botley with the tiles, try one of these ideas:
1. Have Botley knock down a wall of blocks
2. Have Botley navigate an obstacle course using the cones, poles, and blocks.
3. Program Botley to push balls into the goal. Make balls out of paper and see how many you can score with one program.
4. Draw black lines for Botley to follow. (Start with the tiles and then create your own paths.)
5. Use Botley’s object detection feature. Place objects in front of him to go around. (We found out that Botley can detect a range of objects including people. The objects must be tall enough and wide enough for Botley to see.)
6. Try one of these coding challenges with Botley.
7. Try one of these classroom activities with Botley. You can program Botley to add, subtract, draw shapes, or spell. You can even try a science experiment to see how far Botley can push balls of different weights.