Trinidad State Junior College
Grade level(s) or classroom focus:
Logic and Program Design, Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming
What are the main learning objectives in your course(s)?
For the Logic and Program Design Course: This course introduces computer program design using concepts of structured programming and logic. This will include using pseudocode, flowcharts, and structure charts. The course will also cover variables, data types, control structures, looping, program breaks, and arrays. This course meets 3 hours a week for 16 weeks.
For the Intro Course: This course focuses on a general introduction to object-oriented programming by emphasizing the design and implementation of structured and logically correct programs with good documentation and focusing on basic programming concepts, including numbering systems, control structures, modularization, and data processing. This course meets three hours a week for 16 weeks.
Describe the experience for you and your students.
The Boe-Bot gets them the most excited and keeps them engaged. The students then design and build their own robot to participate in the Robotics Challenge held at the Sand Dunes that is run by the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. We have done very well there the last three years, thanks to Parallax and Andy Lindsay. Here is a Flickr feed with pictures.
Which Parallax items do you use in your course?
- What's A Microcontroller? Kit
- The Boe-Bot Robot
- Smart Sensors and Applications text
- The Propeller Lab Kit
- The PropBOE Kit with lessons from learn.parallax.com
- We actually have every kit that you make here; SumoBot Kit, StringRay Kit, Arduino Shield etc.
What is your favorite Parallax product and why?
The Boe-Bot because it is easy to teach, fun to learn and truly engages the students. All of your coursework is very well written and easy for the students to learn and understand even when they come into the course knowing nothing.
Any tips for other teachers?
It is very helpful to have helpers while teaching this course because helping a student wire something or debugging a wiring problem or a program problem can take a bit of time and individual attention. However, teaching this course is very rewarding because of the level of engagement with the students. I'd highly recommend though, that any teacher do the course first and all the wiring and construction so that they will know firsthand where there might be issues.
Any other comments?
I am thoroughly a Parallax person. The technical support is outstanding and has taken someone (me) who knew nothing about wiring/electronics etc to someone who feels competent teaching these courses. My only background was in programming although that was over 15 years ago. So, I enjoy Parallax products!