- What is it?
From the user guide, “Bee-Bot is an award-winning programmable floor robot with a simple, child-friendly layout which is a perfect starting point for teaching control, directional language and programming to young children.”
- What’s in the Box?
The Bee-Bot includes, the Bee-but, a USB charging cable, a set of command cards, and user guide.
- How Much?
Bee-Bot sells for $89.95 and has a variety of accessories you can purchase. There are also classroom sets. Visit http://www.bee-bot.us/ for more information.
- Age Range?
Toddler and up.
- How Did We Acquire it?
ILEAD Grant funds.
Ideas for Use
Bee-bot is very accessible for younger kids. The robot is incredibly child friendly and also very approachable. We used it along with Tiggly Shapes for a Toddler Try-It session, which is for kids between 2 and 3 years old. I can see using this little guy in a variety of ways. You could build a storytime like program around some coding concepts like sequencing, loop, and if/then that includes Bee-Bot. I also think if you have a play space in your library you could have Bee-Bot available for general use. Or if your library circulates kits at all, Bee-Bot would be an excellent addition.
Bee-bot was easy. Everything you need comes with it. I didn’t use the cards at all. But if you wanted to create more elaborate programs, you might spend some time organizing the cards. Otherwise, I can’t see spending a ton of time needing to prep Bee-Bot.
One-time or Recurring Program
I think you could do either. I plan on using Bee-Bot sporadically throughout the year.
Can you push buttons? Then you are good to go.
Bee-Bot was awesome. The kids loved him. I made sure that every child who wanted to give Bee-Bot a whirl had a chance. They were really amazed that they had the ability to “touch” a robot and could even tell him what to do. I completely let the kids decide how they wanted the Bee-Bot to move. I did have to tell them what the different symbols meant. I often was saying, “press a few orange buttons, then press the green one so we can see what he will do.” I’m not sure they understood the concept of directionality yet, but they certainly got the if/then concept. They very much recognized that if they pressed the orange button and then the green one, the robot would react.
I’m not sure I get the cards. I can see how they would be helpful in a classroom setting and for older kids. But they really were not needed for my age group.
This was a fun way to learn. I really like when kids can do things hands on. I myself am a hands-on learner, so I completely get the need. I am working on creating more ways for kids to experience tactile learning during library programs, and Bee-Bot really is a great little tool. I’m excited to use it more and share it with coworkers. I loved Bee-Bot! When you often work with the younger set it is sometimes challenging to think of ways to build programs around coding concepts, it does not always feel like you have the resources you need. Bee-bot is a wonderful tool and incredibly approachable for those who are not sure where to start.