Troop 60 Scouts learned about the history of programming and computers before diving into coding with Dr Perez. Programming is, at its most basic, making the computer software DO something, and the Scouts had fun tonight!
They learned about conditions, variables, loops, and debugging, and practiced block coding with Angry Birds. Programers don’t like to repeat lines of code, so Scouts learned how to use repeat blocks and how to test their code to find errors and solve programming problems at every stage to maneuver their bird through the puzzle.
In the Scratch editor, Scouts practiced using different commands to program the behavior of the Scratch cat, learning about sequential events in software programming and testing what happens when different directions are given to the program. What happens when you create conflicting commands? What about when giving instructions using both primary and secondary input devices?
Scouts then created a new program when told only to make their cat jump and had to figure out how to do that. Most Scouts found different methods to create the same result! They did a lot of debugging before showing Dr Perez that their cat could jump when the spacebar was pressed. Dr Perez then added another challenge by adding a time variable: the cat had to jump 60 times.
Programming is about much more than making software: it requires lots of problem solving and critical thinking skills.
Next week, Troop 60 will meet again at 113 Russell Hall to learn more about Python. Great big thanks to Dr Perez for leading us in this important merit badge!