Once everyone arrived, we had our weekly check-in and recaps from the previous week. Lita Thornhill and Luke Mattam, representatives of the Oxfordshire CEIAG (Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance) conference 2016 joined us to briefly discuss what and who to expect at the conference taking place on the 25th of February, 2016 at the Kings Centre, Oxford. The go_girls would be exhibiting their projects from several activities done in the past including the digital wildfire project. The conference would be an opportunity for the girls to network and interact with educators and career advisers.
Building on the knowledge of pseudo codes and program instructions from our previous sessions, we decided to carry out the Thinkersmith’s traveling circuit robotics game using symbols and then coding our symbol instructions into pseudo codes. Paula coordinated this exercise, pairing us into groups. Each group had a coder who wrote the instructions and a “robot” friend or partner who had to execute the sequence of symbol instructions.These symbols instructed the robot on how to stack some plastic cups placed in its presence. The main goal of this exercise was to highlight programming techniques. Our symbol instructions started with a program name “PROGRAM CupStackPyramid” and the keyword “start”. Each instruction ended with a semicolon “;” and the keyword “stop”. We learnt how to convert real-world activities into instructions and the need for precision while coding. After practicing robotics with symbols and plastic cups, Niall led the attempt to convert our symbol instructions to pseudo codes using the “While -Do -End While” looping structure for the repetitive actions our robots needed to execute.
We were low in attendance but managed to have fun with the small group. Next session, we would complete the pseudo code writing for our robots and sign up with Scratch so we can start writing executable computer codes.