Meet my newest obsession- the tiny, yet powerful, Bee-Bot.
What is a Bee-Bot you might ask? It is an award-winning programmable floor robot, the perfect starting point for teaching control, directional language and programming to young children. There are so many cross-curricular resources available as well that could be incorporated in any learning experience. More information about Bee-Bots can be found here.
The Children’s Museum of Houston’s outreach program had the amazing opportunity to take Bee-Bots along with four iPads to one elementary and one intermediate school this month. As a part of a 30-minute lesson in an after-school setting, students were able to rotate in small groups between different Bee-Bot themed centers. One center had large pre-made mazes that the students navigated using the Bee-Bots from start to finish. The second center had robots similar to Bee-Bots that looked like cars and had the option to add a marker and trace the path- in this center, the students were able to program their robot to create different shapes. In the third center, the iPads were available for students to explore the Bee-Bot app. This free app makes use of Bee-Bot’s keypad functionality and enables children to improve their skills in directional language and programming through sequences of forwards, backwards, left and right 90 degree turns. Similar to many game apps, this app has 12 levels encouraging progression. Each level is timed and the faster it is completed the more stars you get.
The integration of iPads into this lesson was highly successful. It gave the students another opportunity to develop their problem-solving and critical thinking skills while making meaningful connections to their exploration with the Bee-Bots and those careers available for skilled programmers. In my opinion, you know you have a winner when the students exclaim, “I can’t wait to go home and ask my Mom to put this on her iPhone/iPad!”
Whether you are interested in the curriculum of it or the app, I highly recommend you look into the buzz surrounding the award-winning Bee-Bot!