OSMO Coding

Light blue character has a round circle body with oblong limbs. The two arms have three yellow bands. The face is smiling with a big grin and a red tongue. The character is holding a strawberry. White background

upright white box with clear plastic window in the center, written word “Osmo” in different colors at the top, black word “Coding” at the bottom. The box rests on a white round table in front of a window that shows the bricks of the Student Center building in the background. In front of the box are scattered colorful blocks with little figures walking or jumping. Smaller yellow blocks have numbers on themThe Earl Center has recently updated its Osmo set! Now, in addition to Tangrams, Words, Newton, and Masterpiece, we present: Osmo Coding!

It’s a great little set with a number of coding blocks.

The set up is the same as with Tangrams and the others: simply download the Coding app onto an iPad (which we have a number of at the Earl Center!), put the tablet into the base, and get started!

The main character is our furry friend Awbie, who seems to be Bigfoot’s little cousin. They love eating strawberries.

Light blue character has a round circle body with oblong limbs. The two arms have three yellow bands. The face is smiling with a big grin and a red tongue. The character is holding a strawberry. White background

Please join us on the Earl Center Blog for more updates on Awbie’s grand strawberry adventures!

We follow Awbie on their quest to eat strawberries and to grow flowers on the…er…remains of the strawberries.

The player helps Awbie by using the coding blocks to move Awbie forward a space, to turn, to jump, to grab strawberries, and so forth. Pressing the “play” button gets Awbie started on the moves the player has designed – and then we find out if Awbie is successful or not!

ipad plugged into OSMO base and the OSMO Coding box right next to it. In front of it are 3 coding blocks. The top block shows a walking figure, an up arrow, and the number 2. The middle block shows a walking figure, a right arrow, and the number 2. The third block shows a triangle pointing right

Here, Awbie will be moving up two spaces and over two spaces – there’s a nice ripe red strawberry waiting!

The gray arrows on the blocks turn to the direction the player wants, and the yellow tiles go up to five – the player can mix and match.

The pink bar on the side keeps track of Awbie’s strawberry points – then Awbie can get a plant to put in the garden!

Here Awbie has returned to their empty garden plot…but fortunately, there is a plant to place in!
Ipad plugged into OSMO base. The screen depicts the character, Awbie, moving through a garden. In front of the ipad are two coding blocks. The first coding block depicts a walking person, an up arrow, and the number 4. The second coding block depicts an arrow pointing right.
Lastly, here is the sick volcano that Awbie is helping. Awbie follows the white rabbit to each level – hopefully the volcano will get happier and happier!

-Reviewed by Quincy Knapp, Earl Center Public Services Assistant

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Computer Science Education Week

cat and computer

December 9-15 is Computer Science Education Week

CS Education Week celebrates the birthday of Admiral Grace Hopper, the founder of modern computer science. Despite the fact that many countries including China, the United Kingdom, and Australia require it or will soon require it as a subject, in the United States 90% of K-12 schools do not teach it.

It’s not as hard to learn as people think. You can teach yourself the basics of computer programming or coding as it it referred to. Over the next week an organization called code.org is promoting a campaign to get 10 million people participating in the Hour of Code. A variety of self-guided tutorials will take you through coding and will award a certificate at the end. It not only demonstrates the use of computers in self-directed learning activities, it also demonstrates the power of immediate feedback, the challenge of earning badges (or trophies as they call them) and a completely absorbing intellectual activity that is actually fun.

Intrigued? Go to http://csedweek.org/ and sign up.

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