Computer Programming & Coding

We think basically you watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on. (Steve Jobs, 2004)

Students will be introduced to coding or computer programming concepts in select technology classes at the Richardson Sixth Grade Academy.  Initial instruction will commence using the Hour of Code activities to allow students to learn the most basic concepts of computer coding.  This system uses a simple coding method known as “block coding.”  The curriculum then advances to employing those skills to engage in hands-on critical thinking and problem solving activities with a Sphero Bolt programmable robotic ball.  An advanced course will further the STEM activities to integrate with building/assembling Lego Spike Prime and Ozobot EVO programmable robotic devices.

LEGO corporation manufactures a programmable robotic device called Lego Spike Prime.  It consists of a small computer unit which can control and receive input from various sensors and motors.

The unit can be programmed to follow paths, sense objects, detect contact, detect colors, display graphics, and play sounds.  Motors can perform a variety of additional functions.

The Sphero Bolt is a robotic ball that contains an 8x8 LED display unit along with motors, gyroscopes, and sensors.  The device can be programmed to travel a path, sense contact, motion, falling, display lights, text, patterns, follow or avoid other units.  See example.

Programmable Devices Used in Technology Program

1776 Bock cover
Common Sense book cover

Lego Spike Prime

Sphero BB-8 Robot

Rise to Rebellion book cover

Ozobot EVO

Sphero Bolt

Lego Spike Prime App for iOS, Chrome, and Android

Sphero edu App for iOS & Android devices.

Presently, Microsoft also supports the block-coding environment with their MakeCode online programming website.  Microsoft has online resource dedicated to beginning coding using the Lego MindStorms product.

As student skills progress, the coding process can evolve from programming with blocks to text-based programming such as java script.  Javascript is the most widely adopted programming language in use on the internet today.

Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.  Scratch is designed especially for ages 8 to 16, but is used by people of all ages.

Blockly is a library from Google for building beginner-friendly block-based programming languages.


LEGO, the LEGO logo, MINDSTORMS and the MINDSTORMS EV3 logo are trademarks and/or copyrights of the LEGO Group. ©2018 The Lego Group.  SPHERO, the Sphero logo, Sphero BOLT, and sphero edu logo are trademarks and/or copyrights of Sphero. ©2018 Sphero. Blockly and the Blockly logo are trademarks and/or copyrights of Google.  ©2018 Google. Scratch and the Scratch logo are trademarks and/or copyrights of Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. ©2019 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Ooobot and EVO are the trademarks and/or copyrights of Ozo EDU, inc. ©2023 All rights reserved.

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Copyright 2024. Thomas M. Riherd, II.  All rights reserved.