Bee Bots have been used in Key Stage 1 for a long time and are a great introduction to control technology. They can also be used to teach the computer science strand of the computing curriculum.
At Key Stage 1 pupils need to:
- Understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions.
- Create and debug simple programs
- Use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
As well as using Bee Bots there are also two apps available for iPads. These are great for reinforcement and to show the importance of providing clear and accurate instructions. What they don’t do is show the pupils what instructions they are giving. This means that if they make a mistake they need to start again without knowing what they did wrong.
Having cards to plan the instructions is really useful and the cards can be used on their own to develop computational thinking.
I have produced a set of images with the characters from the apps along with a few others.
These can be used with base boards to work out the sequence of moves (create the program) needed to get the Bee Bot to the right place.
Some cards allow the Bee Bot to take more than one route, so pupils can be asked to find all possible routes and discuss whether some are better than others. Is it better for the Bee Bot to need fewer instructions, or for it to make fewer turns?
Pupils can also be given the instructions and asked to predict where the Bee Bot will end up.
As pupils create their own sequences they will make mistakes and will need to correct these (debug the program). Pupils can also take sequences they know are right and deliberately change things so they no longer work. These can be given to their friends to try and debug.
I hope the cards are useful. Please let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions about how to improve them or if there are any other images you would like me to make.
Bee Bot Image Cards
Blank Base Cards
Predicting where the Bee Bot will move to