Promote Computational Thinking and Cultural Awareness With This Robot Mapping Activity

Explore how to weave computational thinking into diverse curricula with this mapping activity.  This activity is focused on cross-disciplinary learning. Educators will delve into innovative strategies to integrate math, computer science, teamwork, and cultural exploration into their lessons. Participants will engage in a dynamic robot map challenge that not only emphasizes problem-solving and coding skills but also encourages them to explore their local environment or global cultures. Fostering computational thinking skills alongside cultural awareness, preparing students for a globally connected world.

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The challenge effectively incorporates the four cornerstones of computational thinking.

  • Decomposition: Students break down the larger task of navigating the map into smaller, manageable parts, such as plotting the route, measuring distances, and identifying obstacles.
  • Pattern Recognition: By observing patterns in the paths that lead to success or failure, students can predict outcomes and make informed decisions on how to adjust their robot’s path. For example, which items are in the same direction or come in what order to plan the route?
  • Abstraction: Students focus on the important information only, ignoring irrelevant details. For instance, they abstract the map into simple geometric shapes and distances that relate to the robot’s commands.
  • Algorithm Design: Students create a step-by-step solution to navigate the robot through the map, which involves coding specific movements and turns based on their measurements and the map’s layout.
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