In this activity, you will use the Finch to draw on the computer screen!
Start by writing a program that uses the Finch accelerometer to move a sprite on the screen. The x and y positions of the sprite should be controlled by two different acceleration values. You may need to use math operator blocks to scale the acceleration values.
Once you can use the Finch to move the sprite around the screen, you want to record the path of the sprite. To do this, you will need to explore the commands under the Pen menu. Start with the pen down block; you can think about this block as placing a pen on the “paper” of the screen. How can you change the color of the sprite’s path?
This project is a chance for you to exercise your creativity! First, choose a piece of music that is at least 20 seconds long (you can use part of a longer piece). Then, use your imagination as you make your Finch dance to the music! Use short moves and turns that match the rhythm of the music. Change the beak color on beat as well. You can even use the Finch’s buzzer to add to your musical selection!
Extension: Use other items from the Sound menu to enhance your project. You can even write your own song for the Finch dance party!
Extension: Work in a group to make multiple Finch robots dance together to the music of your choice.
For a fantastic example of this activity check out the work of Terri Gaussoin’s 4th and 5th grade students at the Janet Kahn School of Integrated Arts (formerly Eubank Academy of Fine Arts) in Albuquerque, NM. They combined the music and history of jazz with coding using the Finches. Working in collaboration with high school mentors from the Digital Arts & Technology Academy (DATA) and their math & science teacher Aaron Jawson, the culminating project of this exciting endeavor was a music video combining Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean A Thing” and the Finch robots.
You can use the indentation in the Finch’s tail to attach a marker with tape or velcro. Then you can make the Finch draw shapes!
Loops can be used to create a lot of interesting shapes. Start by trying out the program below, then modify it to create your own design!
Extension #1: Try adding additional markers to the Finch.
Extension #2: First, write a program to make Finch draw a shape. Your group can then challenge another to perform one of the three geometric transformations: translation, reflection, rotation, or dilation. This group will look at your shape and then write a program to draw it with the given transformation. Take turns challenging different groups to practice all four transformations. This extension is based on an activity by Lisa Ledford and Jo Ray Van Vliet of Towns County Elementary School (Hiawassee, GA).
A 4-6th grade visual arts and science lesson. Students investigate the world of robotics as they use creativity and innovative thinking to design a robot that can make artistic marks.