Review: Bee-bot

Bee-Bot

Robot Basics: What is it?

A simple robot that teaches coding and sequences for children as young as 3

    • What’s in the Box?  the Bee-bot and a charging cord.We also ordered the sequential cards.
    • How Much?   the website says $89.95 according to the website. The cards were another $24.95
    • Age Range?  Ages 3 and up
    • How Did We Acquire it?  Grant funds through ILEAD-USA

      How I used Bee-bots:

      I have used Bee-bot three different times.  I did some one-on-one time with a Kindergartner and her mother, with the Testers from this summer, and at the library’s renovation celebration. The first time, I taped a square on the carpet and my tester and I tried to get the Bee-bot in the box.  It was trial and error and we learned that Bee-bot doesn’t necessarily do right angles.  I also noted that she liked one sequence at a time, rather piling the commands on at a time.  When I showed it to theTesters they understood the concept right away. I attribute that to several things: they’re older (fifth grade through eighth grade) and they’ve been working with this sort of thing all summer. And, I don’t want to forget Robot Turtles.  It’s the same concept and having those same skills really helped.

For the library’s renovation celebration, I made a big flower. A really big flower…too big to laminate.  In hindsight, I’d rather have had it laminated than had it as big as it was.  I numbered a few petals and we gave each child who came to the STEM room a challenge, “from where it is now, can you get the Bee-bot to the number x?”  Some kids tried to pick it up and angle it. Some kids tried to do it one turn at a time.  Some kids tried to get it scooting faster.  I’d just back it up, or re-position it and work it through with them. I also had my testers volunteer that day and they were able to explain the idea when I was busy with other tasks.  It was a good day. I really like Bee-bots and think they’re a good fit for our library

Time Involved

Minimum, depending on whether you need to make huge flower or not. You could easily use Ellison dies on the ground. Get from one to the next.  Make a maze.

One-time or Recurring Program

Recurring. So many challenges.

Extension Activities

I didn’t find the activity cards very useful. One of my fellow ILEAD members discovered that one card length is the length of Bee-bot stride. It might give kids an understanding of how many times to press forward or backward. Also, they may come in handy for kids who like to plan.  I imagine, much like Robot Turtles, you could line up the cards and then program Bee-bot.  Winning is getting the robot where you wanted it the first time.  I’m not competitive like that…

Skills You Need

Understanding sequences. Remembering to clear the sequence when you want to start over

Other Tools You Need

whatever obstacles or challenges you choose to develop

Good Stuff

One young girl was so excited when she got Bee-bot to number 5 she yelled, “I did it!” Made my day.

Frustrations

Really young kids wanted to rush it along, I had to get her to put her hands on her hips to stop touching it after we pressed GO.

Ending Thoughts/Observations

This is a keeper

Overall Rating:

Sweeter than Honey.

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