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Build. Art. Code. Play.
In the book Coding as a Playground: Programming and Computational Thinking in the Early Childhood Classroom, KinderLab Robotics’ co-founder and Chief Scientist, Dr. Marina Bers, focuses on how young children (ages 7 and under) can engage in computational thinking and be taught to become computer programmers, a process that can increase both their cognitive and social-emotional skills. She delves into how coding can engage children as producers and not merely consumers of technology in a playful way.
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Dr. Bers believes that coding promotes developmentally appropriate experiences such as problem solving, imagination, cognitive challenges, social interactions, motor skills development, emotional exploration, and making different choices.
EXPERIENCES
Greek Gods and Robots at The Steward School
Robin Ricketts, Computational Thinking and Robotics Teacher (The Steward School, Richmond, VA)
“We wanted to plan an experience that allowed the children to bring their own ideas and creativity to the table while constructing a project that was personally meaningful.”
To begin our project, the classroom teachers, Enrichment Coordinator/Engineering teacher, and I created a timeline of activities that would culminate in the children retelling a Greek myth, using their custom story spaces and their KIBOs (customized to represent a god or goddess). The students would work in groups of three or four.

The plans looked something like this:
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Classroom teachers will guide students to:
Read myths, Choose myths for the project, Create written scripts to read as the robot god moves through the story space and Sketch the story space.
Engineering teacher will guide students to:
Draw the story space on large sheets of paper, Construct the god or goddess that goes on top of the robot platform, Construct auxiliary characters, either 2D on map, or 3D to help tell the story.
Computational Thinking and Robotics teacher will guide students to:
Construct the robots, Attach the god or goddess construction, Program the robots to travel through the story space maps, stopping at each of the significant locations described in the story script. 
Working in groups required the children to practice more than just TEAM skills. They needed to listen to each other; make decisions as a group; combine their ideas and skills to write their myth script, design and create their god or goddess and their map, and construct and program the KIBO.
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On the final day of the project, students gathered around each story map as the authors ran their KIBO programs and read the accompanying scripts.
They talked about their strategies for collaborating on story writing, robot construction, map drawing, and how to program the KIBO.
They also talked about social-emotional challenges this project presented, how to deal with group members and whose behaviour they found frustrating. 
We all agreed it was a valuable experience.