Learning how to build a StarLogo Nova model requires students to learn how to translate an initial idea of what the turtles should do into specific instructions of how they should do it. These sets of instructions in computer science are called Algorithms. In this activity, participants will specify directions to help others recreate the safe path through a tangled maze without ever seeing it.
Getting Started 5 minutes (Review)
- Review of the previous day’s lesson and concepts and connection to today’s lesson
Activity #1: Trailblazers 20 minutes (Guided Practice)
Printable copy of the student handout for use with the Trailblazers activity. If possible, print in color.
What does a pinball bouncing off of bumpers have in common with a bee using landmarks to navigate back home from a flower patch? Both of these examples are instances of individuals reacting to other objects in their environment. When bees fly back to the hive they depend on landmarks in the environment to reach their destination. A bee might remember to turn left at the large oak tree and fly straight until reaching the creek, where one last right turn will bring her to the hive. Any change in the spatial arrangement of the landmarks can be devastating for the bees.
Learning how to build a StarLogo TNG model requires learning how to translate an initial idea of what the turtles should do into a precise description of how they should do it. In this Activity, participants start by drawing a path, then develop a description to help others recreate the path without ever seeing it. Later we will draw a direct analogy to the conditional instruction used in programming the same behavior.
Off-line activity- playing the game
Assign each student a “breed” of rock, paper, or scissors, making the groups as equal as possible. Have each student choose a classmate at random and play one round of the game (paper covers rock, rock crushes scissors, scissors cut paper). Have each student who loses the first round sit down, and the remaining students continue to play until a single student is left standing.
Human Boolean Activity:
Pick a student in the class. Try to come up with a Boolean Statement that will identify that student and ONLY that student.
- Identify characteristics of the student:
- Brown hair
- Brown eyes
- Wearing blue and white shirt
- Wearing jeans
- No earrings
- Come up with a Boolean statement that describes that student
- Try it out!
Will the student with