Baltimore Fish Bowl: Fun with Bee-Bot and KIBO – Coding with Friends School’s Youngest Learners

The Friends School in Baltimore share their experiences using the KIBO Robot with their youngest learners!

The article reads in part:

“One of the hallmarks of Friends School of Baltimore’s curriculum with regard to technology is how we introduce computer science and coding to our youngest learners. Having our students understand that coding is our ability to talk to, communicate with, and control computers and robots is the foundation of our coding program. 

Another robot friend we use with our youngest learners is KIBO. KIBO is a robot that is controlled by scanning barcodes on actual building blocks. Students build their sequenced algorithms with the blocks, scan the barcodes with KIBO, then press the play button. KIBO then moves according to the programmed sequence. What makes KIBO a little unique is that there are different modules that can be attached (e.g. lights, sounds, even a catapult!) where students can integrate making skills into the coding process. For example, Pre-First students sent LEGO Mae Jemison on a coded KIBO ride throughout our solar system made in the Makerspace, the School’s space that is intentionally designed to serve as a wood shop, garage, science lab, and art studio. KIBO was also coded to travel the migration path for red knot birds (also made in the Makerspace) from South America to Delaware to Canada. In these projects, students learned basic coding skills from events, sequenced algorithms, simple loops, and were introduced to conditional if-then-else statements.”

Having our youngest learners be fluid in their understanding of coding and the various “languages” of our robot friends serve them well as they advance through our Lower School computer science curriculum in grades one through five. In addition, the eruption of cheers and excitement when they get to interact with Bee-Bot and KIBO makes the learning journey all that more fun and engaging for all!

Read the full article!