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NewsDepth A+: Ozobots

Have you ever programmed a robot? How about this? Have you ever programmed a robot using colored lines and computers? Well, recently we visited Ms. WItt and Ms. Weber’s fourth grade class at Harrison Elementary School, in Lakewood. They taught us all about their Ozobot and impressed us with their skills in problem solving and computer programming. For that, they win this week’s A+ Award.

Ozobots are small, spherical robots that you can direct using code that you write. Code is a set of instructions, or system of rules, written in a programming language. Sabir told us that one of the cool things about Ozobots is that you can code them using instructions that tell the robot to follow a color, and each color tells the robot what to go, or you can write more traditional computer code using a programming language on your computer. Xavier told us that colors even control the speed of the movements, and that you can make them do stunts!

Zainab was proud of how well her classmates were doing with the coding, considering they only used the robots about 6 or 7 times. Jasper added that the coding gets more complicated as you get more experienced with the Ozobots.

Bei told us that he’s working on a set of voice commands for his Ozobot. We can’t wait to see how that turns out, and Adrian told us that the robots can respond to music. I don’t know about you, but I kind of want an Ozobot of my own!

The highlight of our visit though, was when they showed us a commercial they created using the Ozobots featuring ketchup flavored potato chips. It turns out the Ozobots LOVE ketchup flavored chips. I can honestly say that I prefer a different flavor.

This weeks A+ Award goes to Ms. Witt’s fourth grade STEM students at Harrison School in Lakewood for how well they program their Ozobots, even though they have questionable taste with potato chips!

Submit your ideas for our NewsDepth A+ segment to newsdepth@ideastream.org for consideration.