5 Fun Activities To Earn the Brownie Programming Robot Badge

This post may contain affiliate links and this site is not connected with, affiliated with, approved by, endorsed by The Girl Scouts of the USA or the Frontier Girls. Ideas are my own and I share to help you run your troops with ease.

Have your girls ever been interested in robot development? If your looking for ideas to learn how to create and design, build and program, and later present and show off a robot with your girls, you have come to the right place. Using some of these activities below to teach your girls how the mind of a robot works and how to code it.

Below are a few ideas to get you started.

We partnered with CodeSpeak Labs, which specializes in computer science education for kids, to bring you these resources.

Programming Robots Activity Booklet

Before jumping into some ideas, do you want to skip all the planning? If so, use this Activity Booklet with interactive activities and puzzles that teach girls how to program robots. These activities include identifying real robots, learning sing-a-longs with robot vocabulary, and reading computer code. With step-by-step activities, you can’t ask for a easier way to run your meeting. Learn more and get yours today!

Be sure to also checkout these other activities your girls will love:


Other Fun Activities To Try

Watch and Discuss Real Life Robots

Since so many girls will know what Amazon is, this is a great video to start a conversation about real life robots and how they impact our lives.


Amazon is known for its amazingly fast shipping, and part of what makes that possible are its incredible robots in their fulfillment centers, which process and pack all the goods customers get to their homes.

The video doesn’t have any audio, so you can have the discussion while the video is playing and prompt girls to think about the different robots that they see. For example:

  • What do you think that robot is doing?
  • Why do you think it is designed the way it is? / Why does it look that way?
  • Why do you think Amazon thinks it is better for a robot to do that job rather than a person?

Do an Hour of Code

Hour of Code is the largest worldwide database of coding activities for kids; organizations like CodeSpeak Labs, LEGO, and Wonder Workshop all contribute activities that can be completed in one hour.

They have a robotics-specific section on their website here. It can be filtered by grade, topic, and technology available. They all require a hardware purchase based on what the activity is.

This website is very popular with teachers who participate in National Computer Science Week in the US, so if you want to use one of these activities, you’ll likely want to ask the girls if they’ve done an Hour of Code activity before.

Play a Binary Game

The team at CodeSpeak Labs created this simple game in Scratch that students can use to learn about binary numbers, which is what robots use.

All students need to do is click on the zeros to switch them to ones (and vice versa). The goal is to turn a regular number into binary. Cute penguins tell you the goal number and the number you’ve constructed so far.

Just based on playing this game, you can ask the girls how they think binary numbers are constructed. What do they notice about how each number relates to the one before it, going from 1… 2… 4… 8 and onward?

Then they can read this article explaining how binary numbers work.

Create a Modular Robot

Get a set of Cubelets, a set of blocks that can introduce kids to robotics concepts. Each block has a specific purpose– for example, one block is a the battery/ power block, another is the “Drive” block that moves, while another is the “Brightness” block that senses light. You combine the pieces to make, for example, a device that will automatically drive in the dark.

It also comes with two Brick Adapters, so you can add on LEGO and make larger creations.

It’s almost $300, so it’s a significant investment, but the girls can work together on a set. You can demo it in front of everyone and then give them a chance to complete challenges and have open play time. There is an app, but a lot of the building, learning and fun can happen without it.

If you don’t want to spend the money to buy equipment or spend time planning, our Activity Booklet has step-by-step instructions on how to design a virtual robot. All you need is a computer with internet access.

What do we do after your girls complete the activities?

Well of course give them the badge to display proudly on their vest, they earned it!  You could also do a fun patch. Here is a real cute one:
Robotics Fun Patch

Get Your Robotics Fun Patch Now

Additionally If you are like many leaders we want to award our girls when they complete something even beyond just the patch. One great way to show achievement is with a certificate. Don’t worry you don’t have to make them, I found a resource that has done all the work for you and all you have to do is print them and customize the certificates with each girl’s name, badge or award earned, date, and troop leader.  Editable certificates perfect for awarding girls after earning a badge.

Related Activities For Multi-level Troops

If you have a multi-level troop you may want to use one of the variations to this program that is geared toward the age of your girls.

K – 1st grade activities:

4th – 5th grade activities:

6th – 8th grade activities:


More Resources For You Beyond This Site

I get asked a lot what other resources are out there on the internet for Leaders.  I have done some digging over the years and have used many of the resources myself. I compiled a list of some great companies that sell patches, programs and also other bloggers offering amazing resources that may fit your needs even better than my site did. Checkout what I found.

 

Previous Article12 Fun Games To Play With Your Troop Using Only Balls
Next Article5 Fun Activities To Earn the Brownie Designing Robot Badge
My name is Jodi Carlson, I am a mom, wife, & web designer and come with 25 years of GS experience. I am now sharing my experiences and helping other Girl leaders be great and successful and shape today’s girls to be the leaders of tomorrow. I was blessed with a Son in March of 2015 and stepped down as a full time girl leader, but missed planning and volunteering, so I decided after 25 years I have so many ideas to inspire girls and help leaders so I choose to build this blog and it has grown into a resource beyond GS, I am reaching girl leaders in many organizations.