Enjoying the summer vacation - Kids Science
"Kids Science 2020", a science experience class, hosted by the South Iwate Research Center of Technology in Hagisho, Ichinoseki City was held on August 1. During the summer vacation, young residents of Ichinoseki tried their hand at programming devices to move as intended, and deepened their understanding of the mechanism.
This (Kid’s Science) is a popular class held every August to help cultivate children's creativity and sense of craftsmanship. This year, preventive measures against the novel coronavirus were in place. To avoid the ‘three C’s’,(closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings) the lesson was held four times, lessening the time that students would be in contact. Etsuya Chiba (64), a contract professor at the National Institute of Technology, Ichinoseki College, served as the instructor and introduced the appeal of programming through the "PIKS" device that moves according to what is entered into the program.
A total of about 20 children and 12 parents participated in the final class. Once the students learned the basic operations from Mr. Chiba, they put simple movements into practice such as "stop", "turn" and "progress" according to a list of numbers, and confirmed if the movements were correct.
When the students were familiar with the content, they tried setting up more complicated movements and adding action time for each of the moves. During this step, some children looked as though they were struggling as their devices would turn when they should have been going straight or move backward when they should have stopped. With the help of their guardians, the children wrote down the settings they had typed in to figure out the source of the problem, and repeated trial and error by adding or removing the code.
Yudai Chiba (8), a third year student at Daito Elementary School, who participated with his mother said, “It was my first time programming, but it was fun. Although there were times where it didn’t work as expected, I was able to try out many different moves. I want to try it again," he smiled.
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Original Iwate Nichinichi article August 3rd
Translated by Aimi Bell