Ninja Maze Challenge 1
Experience: 2nd year, 1st quarter
Practice: Creating computational artifacts, Testing and refining computational artifacts, and Communicating about computing
Concept: Program Development, Algorithms, and Control
Overview and Purpose
Coders will solve four different maze challenges that focus on a combination of vertical and horizontal movement, then create their own unique mazes that peers will solve. The purpose of this project is to reinforce understanding of predicting and sequencing a sprite’s movement using the motion blocks.
Objectives and Standards
- I will be able to explain how an algorithm guides a sprite through a maze without touching walls.
- I will learn how to create mazes that a friend will solve.
- How can an algorithm guide a sprite through a maze without touching walls?
- How can we create mazes that a friend will solve?
1A-AP-10 Develop programs with sequences and simple loops, to express ideas or address a problem.
- Programming is used as a tool to create products that reflect a wide range of interests. Control structures specify the order in which instructions are executed within a program. Sequences are the order of instructions in a program. For example, if dialogue is not sequenced correctly when programming a simple animated story, the story will not make sense. If the commands to program a robot are not in the correct order, the robot will not complete the task desired. Loops allow for the repetition of a sequence of code multiple times. For example, in a program to show the life cycle of a butterfly, a loop could be combined with move commands to allow continual but controlled movement of the character. (source)
1A-AP-11 Decompose (break down) the steps needed to solve a problem into a precise sequence of instructions.
- Decomposition is the act of breaking down tasks into simpler tasks. Students could break down the steps needed to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, to brush their teeth, to draw a shape, to move a character across the screen, or to solve a level of a coding app. (source)
1A-AP-08 Model daily processes by creating and following algorithms (sets of step-by-step instructions) to complete tasks.
- Composition is the combination of smaller tasks into more complex tasks. Students could create and follow algorithms for making simple foods, brushing their teeth, getting ready for school, participating in clean-up time. (source)
1A-AP-14 Debug (identify and fix) errors in an algorithm or program that includes sequences and simple loops.
- Algorithms or programs may not always work correctly. Students should be able to use various strategies, such as changing the sequence of the steps, following the algorithm in a step-by-step manner, or trial and error to fix problems in algorithms and programs. (source)
1A-AP-15 Using correct terminology, describe steps taken and choices made during the iterative process of program development.
- At this stage, students should be able to talk or write about the goals and expected outcomes of the programs they create and the choices that they made when creating programs. This could be done using coding journals, discussions with a teacher, class presentations, or blogs. (source)
Practices and Concepts
Practice 5: Creating computational artifacts
- "The process of developing computational artifacts embraces both creative expression and the exploration of ideas to create prototypes and solve computational problems. Students create artifacts that are personally relevant or beneficial to their community and beyond. Computational artifacts can be created by combining and modifying existing artifacts or by developing new artifacts. Examples of computational artifacts include programs, simulations, visualizations, digital animations, robotic systems, and apps." (p.80)
- P5.1. Plan the development of a computational artifact using an iterative process that includes reflection on and modification of the plan, taking into account key features, time and resource constraints, and user expectations. (p.80)
- P5.2. Create a computational artifact for practical intent, personal expression, or to address a societal issue. (p.80)
Practice 6: Testing and refining computational artifacts
- "Testing and refinement is the deliberate and iterative process of improving a computational artifact. This process includes debugging (identifying and fixing errors) and comparing actual outcomes to intended outcomes. Students also respond to the changing needs and expectations of end users and improve the performance, reliability, usability, and accessibility of artifacts." (p.81)
- P6.1. Systematically test computational artifacts by considering all scenarios and using test cases." (p.81)
- P6.2. Identify and fix errors using a systematic process. (p.81)
Practice 7: Communicating about computing
- "Communication involves personal expression and exchanging ideas with others. In computer science, students communicate with diverse audiences about the use and effects of computation and the appropriateness of computational choices. Students write clear comments, document their work, and communicate their ideas through multiple forms of media. Clear communication includes using precise language and carefully considering possible audiences." (p.82)
- P7.2. Describe, justify, and document computational processes and solutions using appropriate terminology consistent with the intended audience and purpose. (p.82)
- "Algorithms are designed to be carried out by both humans and computers. In early grades, students learn about age-appropriate algorithms from the real world. As they progress, students learn about the development, combination, and decomposition of algorithms, as well as the evaluation of competing algorithms." (p.91)
- Grade 2 - People follow and create processes as part of daily life. Many of these processes can be expressed as algorithms that computers can follow." (p.96)
- "Control structures specify the order in which instructions are executed within an algorithm or program. In early grades, students learn about sequential execution and simple control structures. As they progress, students expand their understanding to combinations of structures that support complex execution." (p.91)
- Grade 2 - "Computers follow precise sequences of instructions that automate tasks. Program execution can also be nonsequential by repeating patterns of instructions and using events to initiate instructions." (p.96)
- "Programs are developed through a design process that is often repeated until the programmer is satisfied with the solution. In early grades, students learn how and why people develop programs. As they progress, students learn about the tradeoffs in program design associated with complex decisions involving user constraints, efficiency, ethics, and testing." (p.91)
- Grade 2 - "People develop programs collaboratively and for a purpose, such as expressing ideas or addressing problems." (p.97)
- A step-by-step process to complete a task. (source)
- A formula or set of steps for solving a particular problem. To be an algorithm, a set of rules must be unambiguous and have a clear stopping point. (source)
- An error in a software program. It may cause a program to unexpectedly quit or behave in an unintended manner. (source)
- The process of finding and correcting errors (bugs) is called debugging. (source)
- An error or defect in software or hardware that causes a program to malfunction. Often a bug is caused by conflicts in software when applications try to run in tandem. According to folklore, the first computer bug was an actual bug. Discovered in 1945 at Harvard, a moth trapped between two electrical relays of the Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator caused the whole machine to shut down. (source)
- The process of finding and correcting errors (bugs) in programs. (source)
- To find and remove errors (bugs) from a software program. Bugs occur in programs when a line of code or an instruction conflicts with other elements of the code. (source)
- To break down into components. (source)
More vocabulary words from CSTA
- Potential subjects: Math, media arts
- Example(s): This project could integrate with math lessons by using the grid and counting/adding how many steps a sprite should move to solve a maze. Click here to see other examples and share your own ideas on our subforum dedicated to integrating projects.
- Media artists and designers are frequently asked to create levels or worlds for characters to exist within. In this project we are asking coders to not only create levels, but to determine the precise amount of steps to take to navigate within such a space. Such a process relates to basic math. Click here to visit a website dedicated to exploring potential careers through coding.