Session 4



Algorithms are everywhere. Every time you tie your shoe or make an omelette, there is a set of procedures that you have to follow in order to complete a task. An algorithm is simply a set of commands that can be executed in a certain order for a variety of purposes (or no purpose at all!). An algorithm can be simple, and add two numbers together to return the sum, or it can analyze your search trends and provide you with prognosticated likes of web content you didn't know existed. Today we will program Arduino robots to navigate through a maze given the instructions we provide it. We will see how different algorithms can be written to achieve the same outcome, and how those  can be procedurally abstracted to simplify and avoid  repetition.    Essential Questions:
1. How are algorithms implemented and executed on computers and computational devices?
2. Why are some languages better than others when used to implement algorithms?
3. What kind of problems are easy, what kinds are difficult, and what kinds are impossible to solve algorithmically?
4. How are algorithms evaluated? 



Welcome and agenda overview


Check in

  • How is CS taking shape in your classroom?

  • What resources have you incorporated?

  • What are you planning for your final lesson?

Go around and share



Get food, eat it.

Topic of discussion: What is impossible to solve algorithmically?



Algorithms and Arduinos

  • Algorithm intro activity

    • Analyze several algorithms in pseudocode, remix and make a more efficient and correct.

  • Learn how to program Arduinos with Parallax Robotics shields to navigate using Algorithms.

    • Set up your Robot (in pairs)

    • Connect with Codebender

    • Try Servo test

    • Clone Maze starter

    • Navigate obstacle course

    • EXTRA: Activate LED, Play victory song!

    • Try Whisker Navigation


Sample Servo Test

Basic Bot Nav

Forward Ten Seconds

Maze Starter code

Musical Notes

LED activity

Whisker navigation

More fun with Arduino




  • Thriving in our digital World: review curriculum

 UTeach CS


  • Survey and Media Release Forms

  • Homework: Plan and teach your Final lesson or components (Due February 23rd)

 Google Midpoint Survey