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Intro to Coding: Communication STEM Activity

Vivify STEM
Grade Levels
1st - 8th, Adult Education, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Compatible with 
24 pages
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Vivify STEM
Compatible with Easel Activities
This resource is compatible with Easel by TpT, a suite of digital tools you can use to make any lesson interactive and device-ready. Customize this activity and assign it to students, all from Easel. Easel is free to use! Learn more.

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Intro to Coding: Unplugged & Distance Learning STEM Activity

Practice critical Stage 1 STEM communication skills with this intro to coding activity! This download provides options for distance learning including activities for live virtual classes, Google Slides / Google Classroom, Seesaw, Flipgrid, and printed packets. All activities can be edited.

**This activity is perfect for classrooms needing to implement social distancing or physical distancing between students.**

Activity Overview: There has been an emergency on the International Space Station! A special tool is required to make repairs, but only Robonaut (a robotic astronaut) can build this tool. NASA’s Mission Control must send commands to tell Robonaut exactly how to build the tool to save the astronauts on the ISS.

Materials required: Any building materials that connect together can be used for this activity. Examples include Lego, Zoob, K'Nex, etc. Other options are to use index cards, modeling clay, tape, or other common materials.

Background: Coding or programming activities develop critical thinking and communication skills that are vital to all STEM career pathways. Before moving to coding robots or computer applications, teachers can use unplugged activities with minimal supplies to introduce basic coding skills. The activity is intended for elementary or middle school students to learn the challenges of verbal or written commands in trying to have their partner build an object. The activity is centered around a space theme of coding Robonaut, a NASA robot that supports astronauts in the International Space Station.

Included in this product:

  • Teachers guide with links to resources
  • Background page on Robonaut for a real-world STEM connection
  • Editable student worksheet and reflection pages for Google Slides, Flipgrid, and printed packets.

This activity is adaptable for elementary and middle school grades.

Looking for more STEM lessons? Find the Vivify resource guide here: bit.ly/VivifyResourceGuide

About STEM Challenges: Click here to learn more about the 3 Stages of STEM. STEM challenges are an engaging way to incorporate the engineering design process into your classroom or after school program! These hands-on activities allow students to work in teams, apply the engineering design process, and connect science topics to real-world applications. The teacher will provide the structure to the project, but students will take an active role in designing and building their own device.

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Total Pages
24 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 hours
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