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Do the Robot

Robots work by following a series of step-by-step instructions called “algorithms.” Try giving instructions to a human robot and see if they can follow them!

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  • What tasks will you ask your robots to do? Examples might include tying a shoe, opening a door or doing the Macarena! 
  • Will you need any materials for your tasks? 
  • How will you give instructions to your robot? 
  • When it is your turn to be the robot, how will you make sure you are following the instructions exactly? 


  • In pairs, assign one person to be the robot and one person to be the programmer. 
  • Everyone will select a task for their robot – you can have everyone do the same task, or have each pair pick a task from a hat at random. 
  • Have the programmer explain to their partner (the robot) how to perform the steps needed to complete their activity. Remember, you’re coding a robot, so you can only use your words, no actions! 
  • When your robot as completed its task, switch roles. 


  • Why is it important to give clear instructions? 
  • Do you think it would be easier or harder to give instructions to a real robot? Why?  
  • What did you learn about giving and following instructions?. Will this change how you give instructions in the future? 

Keep it Simple

Work in groups of three rather than pairs. Have one person act as the robot and the others work together as programmers. Draw or write down the steps you will need before giving them to the robot. This will help you to organize your thoughts so you do not forget anything! 

Take it Further

Have each pair perform their sequence of steps in front of their Team or Section. Talk about the steps they took – is there any way to simplify their algorithm?