5 Fun Activities To Earn the Junior Programming Robots Badges

If you have a Junior troop they will love working on their Programming Robots badge. This is the 1st Badge in the Junior Robotics series (here’s the link to the 2nd Badge: Designing Robots and 3rd Badge: Showcasing Robots). Your girls will learn how the mind of a robot works and how to code! 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!  

Junior Programming Robots Activity Booklet

Before jumping into some ideas, do you want to skip all the planning? If so, use the Programming Robots Activity Booklet to fulfill the requirements for this Junior Badge. This booklet has tons of hands on activities and puzzles that teach girls how robots work. These activities include using binary code, creating their own algorithms, and even writing real code to control a virtual robot. With step-by-step activities, you can’t ask for a easier way to run your meeting. Learn more about this activity booklet and get yours today!

Other Fun Robotics Activities

Play Robot

Robots need to follow the instructions that programmers give them. Split the girls in pairs– one girl will play robot first, and the other the programmer.

While the robot girls wait in another room where they can’t hear, have the programmers write a set of instructions out on paper that the robots will have to carry out. You can give them something straightforward (e.g., make a jelly sandwich), or allow them to think of something silly (e.g., take a selfie doing a funny dance).

When the robots come in, give them their “programs” (the instructions). The programmers cannot give the robots any additional instruction beyond what is written already. This teaches the girls they need to be very clear in their instructions; if the robot is confused– that’s an area when the program can be improved! Have the them take turns being the robot.

Robot Scavenger Hunt

Robots are all around us– can you find them? Take the girls to a shopping mall and give each of them paper and a pen/pencil. You can split them into teams if you want to make it a competition. The goal is to find as many robots as possible. Girls have to write down the name of the robot and its function (what does it do?)

E.g., Roomba: it vacuums floors

Decode a secret message

Robots think in “binary” based on ones and zeroes, or on and off. Use the binary decoder below to figure out the secret message!

What does the secret message say?

Robot Race!

One of our favorite robots for kids is the Dash Robot. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s durable and the apps you need to program it are free. If you get multiple robots, your girls can have a robot race! Set a starting and end point and give them a set amount of time to program their robot race code. For a more advanced race, you can make a track using painter’s tape (see below).

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

What do we do after your Junior girls complete the badge?

Well of course give them the badge to display proudly on their vest, they earned it!  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, date and troop leader.  Click here to get a complete set of Girl Scout Junior badge and journey certificates.

Related Badges For Multi-level Troops

If you have a multi-level troop you may want to earn the Robot badges with another group level. Here is what is available from the shop.

If you love this badge activity booklet series for Juniors check out the Brownie activity booklets from series