Grasping Algorithms – Exploring Toys that Teach Computational Thinking

Erika Root, Maren Steinkamp, Beatrice Coldewey, Christin Poloczek, Frederik Scharnowski, Marlon Willms, Mark Kettner, Marion Koelle, Swamy Ananthanarayan
MUM 2017, November 26–29, 2017, Stuttgart, Germany
Computational thinking has received increased attentionover the past several years and is considered by many tobe a fundamental and necessary literacy for children. Oneapproach to teaching this skill has been through tangibleprogramming since it facilitates intuitive interaction with children.In this paper, we introduce CodeTrain and CodeBox,two motorized toys whose behavior can be programmedthrough wooden building blocks without the use of a computer,tablet, or screen-based interface. The goal with boththese designs is to foster playful exploration of computationalthinking in pre-adolescent children through tangibleobjects. We describe the design process from the conceptualdesign to the functional prototype. Furthermore, wepresent first impressions of the prototypes from a pilot studyand highlight some lessons learned from our first iteration.
November / 2017
Smart Environments als Kontext motivierender Lernangebote für Mädchen für einen wachsenden Anteil von Informatikerinnen durch Einbezug von Lehrkräften und Eltern