Fun and interactive activity with Ozobot!

Publication date: January 26, 2023

By Daniela Grecu,  EU Code Week  Leading Teacher in Romania  

As a teacher of Informatics and ICT in a secondary school, where I have only one hour per week with every class,  I try as much as possible to bring new challenges to my students to develop their algorithmic thinking.  

If in previous years we got familiar with the Micro:bit and the Edison robot,  during this year’s EU Code Week I chose to discover together with them how an Ozobot can be coded.  

In the first week, we talked about robots, generally speaking, using the images and information accessible here, where we found that the robots were grouped by category or sorted alphabetically, by size, date, or country and we learnt more information such as their year of release, creators or country.  

The pupils were fascinated and excited by the large number of robots; we focused on educational robots that could be programmed and through which we could apply STEM knowledge and one of the most used in schools, is the Ozobot. This is an intelligent robot, perhaps among the smallest programmable robots in the world, measuring 2.54 cm in diameter and height, which can follow lines or walk freely, detect colours and can be programmed using visual codes. 

In the following week, we accessed the available resources on the official Ozobot website here and went through the first 10 challenges (Shape Tracer Basic) that involved the use of linear structure in programming. My pupils used specific motion instructions and lighting effects; I could see they felt it was like a real competition and did their best to finish the challenges first! 

In the third week, we moved on to the next challenge (Shape Tracer Advanced) also consisting of 10 levels, this time with a repetitive structure to deal with. Once again the healthy competitive atmosphere has been maintained! The whole experience and game were a success and all the activities were carried out in the school and extended to all the 6th grade pupils, and even though we didn’t have the robots in physical form, the simulator really helped us see that the Ozobot is a great tool to teach the basics of programming in a fun and interactive way.