Robot Traffic Jam


What You Need

  • Two or more educational robots such as Bee-Bot or a Code-and-Go Robot Mouse
  • Poster paper
  • Markers


What You Do

  1. Ask your student, “Have you ever been in a traffic jam? What was that like?” Tell them about some of the problems that cause traffic jams, like too many cars on the road or construction work that causes a backup.
  2. Explain to your student that they will be creating a robot traffic jam. Their job is to program the robots to avoid a crash and help them safely travel through an intersection.
  3. First, they should draw a map of an intersection. This map will become the road the robots will travel across, so they will need to make the roads the right size for the robots. They may also choose to add traffic lights, stop signs, and other features to their maps.
  4. Once the map is complete, invite your student to program the robots to travel through the intersection. Initially, they can program the robots and run the program one at a time.
  5. Then, tell them to run the programs for multiple robots at the same time. If it looks like the robots are going to crash into each other, have them revise the code to avoid a traffic jam.
  6. Lastly, let them present their map and demonstrate their program for you.
  7. Afterwards, ask your student questions that will help them reflect on the experience:
    • What did you find most difficult about this task?
    • How did you overcome the problems you encountered?

Ann Gadzikowski is an author and educator with a passion for challenging children to think creatively and critically. Her recent book Robotics for Young Children won the 2018 Midwest Book Award for best educational book. Ann developed her expertise in robotics, computer science, and engineering through her work as early childhood coordinator for Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development. She has over 25 years of experience as a teacher and director of early childhood programs, and currently serves as the Executive Director of Preschool of the Arts, a Reggio-Emilia inspired school in Madison, Wisconsin.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items