Moon Adventures Computer Science Grades PreK-2 - including Bee-Bots

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Moon Adventures STEM+C engages young learners in STEM and computer science through a set of five integrated Storytime STEM+C challenges. 

1. Trip to the Moon

Computer Science Concept:

Creating and Following Algorithms

This unplugged computer science activity starts with reading the book On the Moon (PreK-K) or If You Decide to Go to the Moon (Grades 1-2), creating excitement about a trip to the moon. Children then sequence a set of six Going to the Moon cards, justifying their proposed sequence. The activity concludes with a reenactment of a trip to the Moon, ending with everyone “walking” on the Moon.

2. The Spacesuit: How a Seamstress Helped Put Man on the Moon

STEM Concept: Engineering Design

Developing and Optimizing Design Solutions

This Storytime STEM-Pack includes all the materials you need to engage kids in an engineering design task that also explores the concept of properties of matter.  The activity is launched by reading the popular children's book, The Spacesuit: How a Seamstress Helped Put Man on the Moon, which is based on the fascinating true story behind the spacesuit that astronauts wore on the first moon walk and the team of women who sewed it together. Children are then challenged to think about how to protect an astronaut in space. They work in groups of three to design and test two layers of a space suit, choosing from several materials and testing materials with a rock.

3. Exploring Moon Craters

STEM+C Concept: Computer Science

Develop programs with sequences to address a problem

This computer science challenge starts with children revisiting pages with craters from the books and then sequencing a different set of six cards (Getting Ready to Walk on the Moon cards). Children then have an opportunity to become familiar with the robot (Bee-Bot), before completing the first challenge on the Bee-Bot Moon Mat, going from the Moon lander to the Moon buggy to explore craters (and back for older children). Children discuss the different strategies they used to determine how to program Bee-Bot. During the last part of the activity, children are using symbol cards (forward, backward, turn right, turn left, pause) to document Bee-Bots movements. Possible extensions to visit multiple craters are provided.

4. Collecting Moon Rocks

STEM+C Concept: Computer Science

Develop programs with sequences to address a problem

This computer science challenge starts with children revisiting pages with moon rocks from the books and then sequencing a set of four cards (Brushing Teeth), or telling which card is missing, before coming up with their own sequence for a daily life experience. Next, the children program Bee-Bot to collect Moon rocks (cards), avoiding boulders (cards) for older children. To close, the children reflect and share how they worked as computer programmers, and what made them successful. 

5.Finding Footprints on the Moon

STEM+C Concept: Computer Science

Develop programs with sequences to address a problem

This computer science challenge starts with children revisiting pages from the book with footprints on the moon surface and then asks children to program Bee-Bot to follow a “NASA Mystery Code”. If followed correctly, Bee-Bot lands on a square of the Moon Mat that has astronaut footprints. Next, children program their robot to “go home” along a masking tape line, after discussing strategies how to best program Bee-Bot to stop as close to the end of the line as possible. The activity concludes with a discussion on computing all around us in daily life.

Included in this set of five integrated STEM+C challenges above, you'll find:

  • Detailed instructions (i.e., lesson plan) for each of the five the learning activities
  • 15 small magnet tiles
  • 25 small astronaut stickers
  • 24 index cards
  • 1 roll of masking tape
  • Six Going to the Moon Sequence Cards (8.5x11)
  • Twelve sets of small Going to the Moon Sequence cards for children
  • Going to the Moon Re-Enactment Card (8.5x11)
  • Six Getting Ready to Walk on the Moon Sequence Cards (8.5x11)
  • 1 roll aluminum foil
  • 1 roll of plastic wrap
  • 1 roll of paper towels
  • 1 packet of plastic sheeting
  • 1 packet of tissue paper
  • 1 plastic box with a rubber band and three different size rocks
  • 8 craft tubes
  • 4 rolls of clear tape
  • 1 Testing Space Suit Materials Card (8.5x11)
  • 9 Protecting the Astronaut Cards (8.5x11)
  • 1 Engineering Design Concept Card (8.5x11)
  • Bee-Bot Instruction Card (8.5x11)
  • 1 set of 32 Symbol Cards (3.75x3.75), forward, backward, right turn, left turn, pause, clear
  • 6 sets of 32 Symbol Cards (2x2), forward, backward, right turn, left turn, pause, clear
  • Four Brushing Your Teeth Sequence Cards (8.5x11)
  • 18 Moon Rock Cards (6x6)
  • 18 Boulder Cards (6x6)
  • 4 small Word Wall cards
  • Six Mystery Code Cards (8.5x11)
  • 12 paper copies of the Moon Mat (half sheet)
  • 1 paper copy of the Moon Mat (8.5x11)
  • A copy of On the Moon by Anna Milbourne
  • A copy of If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty
  • A copy of The Spacesuit: How a Seamstress Helped Put Man on the Moon by Alison Donald
  • A set of 6 vinyl Moon Adventure Mats (30” x41”) formatted to be used with Bee-Bots
  • A set of 6 Bee-Bots and 1 docking station

Each of the challenges takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.  These STEM+ computer science challenges are suitable for grades PreK-2.