RoboPots Guide #5 – Computing

This computing section is optional -- RoboPot computers supplied by Gizmo Garden come pre-programmed with the software necessary for you RoboPot to function.  For younger students who want to know how a computer thinks, we recommend activities published by  Section 5 moves at a pace suitable for older students.  However, it requires no prior computing experience on the part of teachers or students, and requires no computers.   A video of the activities is embedded here, and you can access Step-by-Step directions as well as copies of the activity sheets by clicking the Downloads button.

In the computing section, students will

  • Pretend to be a computer in a drawing activity, learning that computers follow algorithms to operate on memory, producing output.
  • Follow the RoboPot's computer flowchart, learning about computer loops.
  • Peek at the core RoboPot code, and play with what things the computer knows, in order to puzzle out how the computer calculates whether it's time to water the plant.

Additional activities for experienced coders will be suggested.

Clarification for Video Users:  The "digital stop watch" referred to in the video starts counting time when the RoboPot is powered on.  It provides time, in milliseconds, since power-up, not the time of day.  Likewise, the Last Watering Time stored in memory is in milliseconds since power-up.