At the end of the school year, I was asked to help at an “Amazing Race” style challenge for our 4th and 5th-grade students. Specifically, I was asked to do something that was coding related in a 15 minute time window with two teams. My mind began to race as I explored and thought about what I could do in this short period. Having to fit the specific parameters of coding, I worried about logging students into their devices and getting set up, so I began to explore what I could do to make the process more complete. I landed on doing a coding activity offline.
I had an idea and needed to think of the challenge and how to get the code off of the computer screen. I started with thinking that a basic maze would work great. So I designed a maze for my students to follow in Google Drawings. I would use masking tape to lay it out on the floor. I then began searching for the the block code images to be able to print them. I found this amazing set in different formats. I also put together a little guide to help organize the materials and explain the code blocks for students that might not be familiar. Finally, I had to select the blocks that would help my students cover the entire path. Here are the ones that were necessary.
Overall, the activity went really well! Students loved it. I was able to get a few more signed up for our two-week summer coding camp that we are hosting this year. I would change it so that my “robot” student is blindfolded, as many would walk the path and stick to it. Here are some pictures from the activity.