Getting Started with MIT App Inventor 2 | for Android

Getting Started with MIT App Inventor 2 App Inventor is a cloud-based tool, which means that you can build apps right in your web browser. This website offers all of the support that you’ll need as you learn how to build your own apps. The App Inventor software, or “service” is at You can get there by clicking the orange “Create” button from any page on this website.

1. Setup Instructions: How to set up your phone for live testing (or, if you don’t have a phone, how to start the emulator).

2. Designer and Blocks Editor Overview: Gives a tour of the App Inventor environment.

3. Beginner Tutorials: Highly recommended as the best way to get started programming in App Inventor.

4. Packaging and Sharing Apps: After you have built an app, you can package it for your phone and you can share it with friends. What’s different in the new version of App Inventor? Find out what’s new App Inventor 2.

Source: Getting Started with MIT App Inventor 2 | Explore MIT App Inventor

KinderLogo (Sample Leveled Curriculum for K-5 graders)

We don’t have the logo language, but we do have robots with pens…
** use Pause, change or remove pen, for the missing “Pen Up” command
** add the OTA-specific rules:
(1) always write out your plan in English (pseudo-code)
(2) always write your guess (program) on the dry erase board before you enter it into the robot and try it
*** add line-by-line Oral Exam on successful Program + new commands, ideas learned? repeat command, Loops, etc.

Kinderlogo Activities

Kinderlogo is divided into 5 levels, each with new commands to learn and activities that help children practice and explore them. At each level, students begin with the KL file (KL1 for Level 1, KL2 for Level 2, etc.). They learn the new commands and freely explore with the turtle.

After giving students time to experiment with the turtle, the teacher may guide them in trying specific projects, such as drawing a letter of the alphabet, or designing a house. It is important that the children be allowed to express themselves independently within the scope of the project.

Kinderlogo activities are arranged with a folder for each level. Custom icons, with instructions for applying them, are included with the program.

Link to Kinderlogo Level 1 page Link to Kinderlogo Level 2 page Link to Kinderlogo Level 3 page Link to Kinderlogo Level 4 page Link to Kinderlogo Level 5 page

Click on a folder above to learn about the activities for that level.

The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Cant Win | WIRED

Invented over 2500 years ago in China, Go is a pastime beloved by emperors and generals, intellectuals and child prodigies. Like chess, it’s a deterministic perfect information game — a game where no information is hidden from either player, and there are no built-in elements of chance, such as dice.1 And like chess, it’s a two-person war game. Play begins with an empty board, where players alternate the placement of black and white stones, attempting to surround territory while avoiding capture by the enemy. That may seem simpler than chess, but it’s not. When Deep Blue was busy beating Kasparov, the best Go programs couldn’t even challenge a decent amateur. And despite huge computing advances in the years since — Kasparov would probably lose to your home computer — the automation of expert-level Go remains one of AI’s greatest unsolved riddles.

via The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Cant Win | WIRED.

Electrical puzzle • Wires & Watts • Computer Chip Design • Circuit Design

Electrical puzzle

by Roger » Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:17 pm

Heres a puzzle you may have heard before which you can build as a simple electric circuit. First, the puzzle: a farmer is traveling to market with his cat, a chicken and some corn. He has to cross a river, and the only way to cross is in a small boat which can hold the farmer and just one of the three items he has with him. The problem is, he has to be very careful about what he chooses to leave behind at any time. If the cat and chicken are left alone, the cat will eat the chicken. If the chicken and the corn are left alone, the chicken will eat the corn. To solve the puzzle, you must show how the farmer can get himself and his three items across the river without losing any of them. The goal of this project is to design a simple electrical circuit that follows the puzzle. Youll need a 6 V battery, a flashlight bulb, a bulb holder, some connecting wire, and four toggle switches: 3 SPDT single-pole, double throw and 1 DPDT double-pole, double throw. Each switch represents one of the items: the farmer, the cat, the chicken and the corn you have to figure out which need to be SPDT switches and which one needs to be a DPDT switch. The switches are mounted on a small panel, in a horizontal row representing the river, which you can draw in. Each switch is labeled “Farmer”, “Cat”, “Chicken”, “Corn”. The circuit is to be designed so that if either of the problematic pairs cat-chicken, or chicken-corn are left alone on the same side of the river, the light bulb lights up, indicating an incorrect solution you can add a 6 V buzzer, too, if you like. Since the boat can hold only two items, players can use only two switches per “move”. Irwin Maths book, Wires and Watts: Understanding and Using Electricity has the solution Math, 1981, 67–70, but see if you can figure this one out on your own. The puzzle Ive got figured out but I am stuck on the wiring and cannot find an Irwin Math book.

via Science Buddies: “Ask an Expert” • View topic – Electrical puzzle.

Project Tree 1.1: Problem-Solving Tools

Use these Creative Learning tools to help your Robot beat the Project-Challenges!

Creativity is the “Problem-Solving Habit”!

Project Tree 1-1_TOOLS

Rulers: use the ruler here: |————-| to measure this diagram and find out how many Roamer steps it would take to get to the garage.

Protractors: use the protractor to find out: how many degrees in one circle? If Roamer turns ¼ of the way around a circle, how many degrees would he or she have turned?

Dry-Erase Drawing Boards & Roamer Pens: Drawing boards help you keep track of and quickly change your guesses; Roamer pens help you trace Roamers path so you can see what corrections you need to make when your first guess doesn’t work.

Continue reading

Two Improvements to Math & Science Robotics Materials

** I’ve been trying out a new tool with the Kindergarten robotics class: magnetic programming symbols so

  • (a) they don’t have to worry about writing out the symbols when they create programs and
  • (b) they can keep their programs and give them names (“bring coffee to teacher”) etc. Working very well so far… (remember Lego study: if kids can keep their projects–rather than disassembling them after each session–they become addicted to building. If they have to destroy their work after each session, not much interest. Same for science and math: let kids KEEP their projects and they look forward to each new learning period)

1. Magnetic programming symbols: a new tool for kids to use with the Roamers– I pasted the programming symbols onto magnets and got a large metal dry erase board so that:

  • (a) younger children don’t have to worry about writing symbols when they “talk to their robot” (writing at this age just gets in the way of the thinking, but the magnets seem to remove that problem completely) and
  • (b) they can keep their programs and give them names (“bring coffee to mom”) etc. which allows them to put together a book of Roamer Jobs/Programs.

2. Put together a “tool box” (with a handle!) for children to carry their Roamer/Math & Science Olympics tools around with them from one Olympic Event to another. They love having and carrying tools.