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One hour Finch workshop

Remember to take good pictures. Examples can be found here:

Ages: 4th grade through high school
Equipment: laptop and Finches for half the number of students (we usually have them work in groups of 2 people). Don't forget the USB cables for the Finches.
Materials: Printed placemats for the Finches. See
Resources: There is some documentation and examples at
Wireless issues- call 404-478-7310 for any problems with Wandering Wi-Fi

We don't do pre and post surveys with 1 hour workshops. But, be sure to take good pictures and movies. See How to take good pictures at our ICE events for more details.

5 minutes: Introduce the workers and have each person say why she or he likes computing.

30 minutes: Start Snap and show the students were to find the Finch blocks in Snap. Explain that Snap is free software that they can use at home too. The Finch robot was created by a former student from CMU. Show them how to change the beak color (just drag out that block and double click on it). Challenge them to create different colors like pink, yellow, and purple. Show them how to make the computer say something. Show them how to make the finch play a tone and see if they can play some music. Have them try to make the finch go forward, go backward, turn left, and turn right. Show them how to stop the Finch. Try to change the move forward power number and see what that does. Show them how to start their program by clicking the green flag and stop by clicking the stop sign.

25 minutes: Explain that modern computers respond to events like when you push a button or when you press a key. Have the students create a remote control for the Finch as shown on the Finch in Motion placemat. Have them try to use the remote control to guide the finch through a course in blue painters tape on the floor. Explain that a loop lets you write shorter programs since you can repeat things. Explain that a conditional lets you execute code when a condition is true.

At the end remind that that Snap is free and they can use it at home.

Things to watch out for: tell the students not to disconnect the Finch cable. Let them know that it only works if it is connected (no batteries). Show them the different between the Finch commands and the sprite commands (they will try things like move and turn and these only work on the sprite not the Finch). Sometimes they start Snap more than once and the Finch robot stops responding. If all else fails stop Snap and start again.

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