We were lucky enough to be able to invite an engineer to one of our January meetings, who has experience with programming, and the kids were hooked instantly. Mr. O’Neill, the husband of my co-coach, gave the students a 5-minute introduction to learning to code using ‘block coding’ and then set them loose using the Code.org website, and the only time I heard a peep out of any of them was when they were either very excited to have met the new goal or were hopelessly stuck and couldn’t.
It’s amazing how quickly they dove into it and how disappointed they were when we told them we had to wrap up. They were crestfallen.
Of course, all that went away the instant Mr. O’Neill got out the Lego Mindstorms robotic snake that he’d previously assembled and programmed to show them, very quickly, how to make your very own creation do your bidding.
The future is looking bright. Next steps, finalizing a design and giving this thing a name. I’m tired of calling it ‘the robot’ in this blog.