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 attention over the past several years and is considered by many to be a fundamental and necessary literacy for children. One approach to teaching this skill has been through tangible programming since it facilitates intuitive interaction with children. In this paper, we introduce CodeTrain and CodeBox, two motorized toys whose behavior can be programmed through wooden building blocks without the use of a computer, tablet, or screen-based interface. The goal with both these designs is to foster playful exploration of computational thinking in pre-adolescent children through tangible objects. We describe the design process from the conceptual design to the functional prototype. Furthermore, we present first impressions of the prototypes from a pilot study and 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