Today was all about hands-on and unplugged activities. We kicked things off with some time for the members to explore the Techsters blog and get caught up with what’s been going on. Subsequently, everybody got into groups and split up in both sides of the room. Then the three activities were explained to the group:
The Block Activity: This was where the group got into a circle and each person chose a color. However, they didn’t start off with their colored blocks, but with two different colors. The objective was to get both of their colored blocks by moving either counter clockwise or clockwise. From this, the members learned about algorithms, which are procedures to do things like leading devices through solving problems & fulfilling commands.
Speed Stacks: This was a game that was popular in about 3rd grade, but there’s a twist to the game we played! One person was a robot and the other person was a programmer. The robot could only follow the instructions of their programmer and could not look at them. They had the ability to follow simple commands to make different structures with the cups. This helped us understand that compilers need explicit directions to complete the task you want it to. Here is a video of what we did: https://csedweek.org/unplugged/thinkersmith
A Paper Is Intelligent: This might sound crazy to you, but its true! Prove it, you ask? Sure! Play a game of “noughts and crosses” by giving one person the job of being the paper’s servant. Tell the paper’s servant to do follow the directions here and let their component do whatever they want. You’ll see that either the paper wins or you tie! Thank you for CS Unplugged for this awesome activity! The members understood that objects as simple as paper are intelligent (AI) and that intelligence is different than knowledge! Here is the example CS Unplugged used to explain this: “…knowledge isn’t the same as intelligence – and that they surely don’t just try to memorise things for exams but try to understand which isn’t the same”
Everybody (including me) was super engaged and learned about algorithms, fundamentals of programming and artificial intelligence!