UVM-CEMS CS Department Sponsors Booth at the Champlain Makers Faire
Computer Science can be Fun for Kids!
- By Margaret Jean Eppstein
The goal for our Maker Faire booth is to appeal to kids of all ages and demonstrate to them, through navigation of a maze with iRobots, that computer science can be fun. For many, it may be the first time that the connection is made that the programs, written by people, are what is controlling the robots. Very often, the technology that people face can seem like the 'robot' is in control. Through the use of the GUI interface, the programming that is actually controlling the robot will be displayed next to the icons that the kids are using to direct the robot. The object for the kids is to have fun navigating a 5x5 grid around obstacles to reach a desired destination. The object for the people managing the booth will be to engage kids in a discussion about the program controlling the robot and to build confidence that they too could learn and be writing programs of their own. For older kids, it will also be an act of putting a seed in their minds about considering computer science for their college major.