Did you know that Washington County Library has robots? Cate Triola is a library services assistant at Park Grove Library in Cottage Grove who has been working with our swarm of Bee-Bots! Here, she shares a bit about why they’re great teaching tools for young, aspiring programmers.
The staff at Park Grove has been having a lot of fun creating this new, exciting program for kids. We have nurtured them from the moment they left the box, affectionately named them with puns and pop culture references, and taught them to do so many exciting things on their own. But now we are ready to share them with the world! We are happy to introduce Bee-yonce, Bee-rak Obama, Jean-Luc Picard, Data, and Jessi (named after our beloved senior librarian).
Bee-Bots are small robots designed to teach young children about computer programming. Participants enter directional sequences into the Bee-Bot, which then moves around following the sequence. This teaches programming concepts like conditional statements and control technology.
The Bee-Bots are especially useful for preschool and early elementary children because they are able to learn programming concepts hands-on without needing a computer.
Participants in library programs can be creative with how they use Bee-Bots. We have a maze that they can navigate individually, or they can create their own mazes with walls and monsters. They can learn basic math skills with dice and numbers, and they can test hypotheses about how much the Bee-Bot can carry. They can even get competitive with Bee-Bot Racing games.
We’ll have our first program with Bee-Bots at Park Grove Library on July 10 at 3 p.m. in our new Kids Lab. They will also be at Wildwood Library on August 11 at 10:30 a.m. (registration begins on July 12) and at R.H. Stafford Library on August 18 at 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. (registration begins on August 1).