Can you program Dot to get back to Earth?

Grade
4 5 6
Format

Using Scratch, create a program that will get Dot back to Earth.

Setting:

Indoors

Time:

20 minutes

Concepts:

Repetition,  events

Skills:

Abstraction, critical thinking, debugging

Ages:

9+

Materials:

  • Scratch website
  • Computer with internet access
  • Handout

What to do!

  1. Click on the link and click see inside to access the activity.
  2. Click the green flag to watch the scenario.
  3. Your goal is to get Dot back to Earth. Put together a code that will move Dot to Earth.
  4. Use trial and error to complete the mission.
  5. If you get stuck, use the handout for suggestions.

What’s happening?

During the activity, you may have given instructions that did not work the way you expected. These errors are called ‘bugs’ in the computer coding world. When you adjusted your instructions to correct the error you were debugging. Debugging is when you find and correct bugs. Bugs in a computer program could be due to syntax errors (e.g. spelling mistakes) or logic errors.

An event involves having one action cause another action, such as how you get a computer to respond to the input of a user. User inputs include actions such as clicking a mouse, tapping a key or touching a screen. You used events to decide what would trigger the actions you programmed Dot to perform.

What’s happening?

During the activity, you may have given instructions that did not work the way you expected. These errors are called ‘bugs’ in the computer coding world. When you adjusted your instructions to correct the error you were debugging. Debugging is when you find and correct bugs. Bugs in a computer program could be due to syntax errors (e.g. spelling mistakes) or logic errors.

An event involves having one action cause another action, such as how you get a computer to respond to the input of a user. User inputs include actions such as clicking a mouse, tapping a key or touching a screen. You used events to decide what would trigger the actions you programmed Dot to perform.

Why does it matter?

As technology advances, it is more important than ever that you are prepared to contribute to the digital world. Building your computational thinking skills, such as abstraction, critical thinking, debugging, and strengthening your understanding of computational thinking concepts, such as events and repetition, will help you to prepare for the future.  

Critical thinking involves addressing complex problems by interpreting information to make informed judgments. In this activity, you had to think critically to come up with ideas to get Dot back to Earth. Critical thinking is an important skill that helps you be a good citizen and solve real-world problems. Abstraction is making a problem less complicated by focusing on what is important and ignoring unnecessary details. You may have had to repeat a step multiple times to get Dot back to Earth. This kind of repetition happens a lot in computer programming. Instead of writing out that step multiple times, it can be set up so that it automatically repeats or loops a certain number of times.

Why does it matter?

As technology advances, it is more important than ever that you are prepared to contribute to the digital world. Building your computational thinking skills, such as abstraction, critical thinking, debugging, and strengthening your understanding of computational thinking concepts, such as events and repetition, will help you to prepare for the future.  

Critical thinking involves addressing complex problems by interpreting information to make informed judgments. In this activity, you had to think critically to come up with ideas to get Dot back to Earth. Critical thinking is an important skill that helps you be a good citizen and solve real-world problems. Abstraction is making a problem less complicated by focusing on what is important and ignoring unnecessary details. You may have had to repeat a step multiple times to get Dot back to Earth. This kind of repetition happens a lot in computer programming. Instead of writing out that step multiple times, it can be set up so that it automatically repeats or loops a certain number of times.

Investigate further!

  • Once you have found one solution, see if you can find more ways to get Dot to Earth
  • Try adding in obstacles for Dot to avoid on the journey back to Earth

Investigate further!

  • Once you have found one solution, see if you can find more ways to get Dot to Earth
  • Try adding in obstacles for Dot to avoid on the journey back to Earth