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Welcome

Our mission at BirdBrain Technologies is to inspire deep and joyful learning in all students through creative robotics. We are excited that you are joining us in making robotics accessible to all students through this course!

Before we begin to program our Finch Robot*, it may be helpful to ask yourself…

What is a robot?

We define a robot as a machine that senses its environment, thinks about it, and then reacts. Can you think of some sensing, thinking, acting machines that you have interacted with today?

*Please note that this course is for the Finch Robot 2.0. Email support@birdbraintechnologies.com with questions.

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Set Up Your Finch With FinchBlox

FinchBlox is an icon-based coding app developed by BirdBrain Technologies. It is similar to Scratch Jr, but optimized for use with the Finch Robot. One key advantage to programming in FinchBlox is that the code can be changed while it is running. FinchBlox is always in contact with the Finch, making the code “tinkerable.”

FinchBlox can run on most tablets and smartphones. In order to connect the Finch to your device, you will need to download the FinchBlox app. You will also need to download a specific .hex file onto your micro:bit. This .hex file will allow the Finch to connect with FinchBlox.  In order to download the hex file, you will need to use a computer with a USB port.

Markers and Plastic Bricks

This video shows how to insert a marker into the Finch pen mount and how to use it to draw shapes. It also explains how to use the plastic brick mounting grid near the marker hole.

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FinchBlox Level 1 Blocks Overview

FinchBlox level 1 allows students to quickly build sequences of actions for their Finch that control the motors, lights, and buzzer. It is appropriate for absolute beginners age 5 and up.

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FinchBlox Level 1 Activities

In this video we dive deep into one Finch activity, Finch Jousting, and describe how it supports two computational thinking concepts, Algorithms and Evaluation.

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FinchBlox Level 2 Blocks Overview

FinchBlox level 2 adds parameters to the motor, light, and buzzer blocks – allowing students to fine tune their programs. Students aged 7 and up may be able to start in level 2 without first learning level 1.

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FinchBlox Level 2 Activities

In this video we discuss how drawing shapes with Finch links to the Computational Thinking concepts of pattern recognition and evaluation.

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FinchBlox Level 3 Overview

FinchBlox level 3 introduces new blocks that allow students to use sensors and design more complex behaviors. Students have access to a fourth menu of control blocks that allows them to wait until a sensor is triggered, use numbered and infinite loops, and trigger multiple sequences of blocks at once.

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FinchBlox Level 3 Activities

In this video we dive into the Finch Dance party activity, and link it to the computational thinking concept of decomposition.

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Thank You for Joining Us!

We hope that you and your students enjoy the Finch Robot 2.0!

Follow exciting developments in the Finch world on social media or by signing up to our mailing list, and email us if there is anything we can do to help you use the Finches. We would love to share your projects and work with the Finch community, so please tag anything cool you or your students do with #FinchRobot2.

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