Campus and Community

ROB 9-16: 3 days of Programming for Beginners

ROB 9-16 is a robotics club at Técnico aimed at children and young people aged 9 to 16.

Técnico Taguspark organised another edition of the Rob 9-16 Maker Week from the 27th to the 29th of December. During the three days, 3rd cycle students had the opportunity to enter the world of computers through programming, and to learn its fundamentals.

The participants could learn about variables, control instructions, matrices and vectors, functions, structures and files. After the theory, the students were able to put the teachings into practice, and start the first challenge: building a tic-tac-toe board game. For some students the exercise was their first victory; for others, it was their first confrontation, as the task proved to be more difficult than they expected.

Rodrigo, an 8th-grade student, confessed that when he got home he tried to do the parts that left him with doubts, in order to understand why they were done in a certain way. “I’ll look it up and try again,” he explained. Although he had never done any programming before, after the course he was eager to continue learning.

Many came to clarify doubts, Patrícia came “to be able to decide which area” to choose, as she will be going to Secondary School next year. The Technological Sciences seem to be the predominant area of choice. “I’m definitely going to study Science, then I’ll decide which course to take”, says Rodrigo, smiling.

Some students already knew other programming languages, such as Python, but for many of them, this was their first contact with programming. “I had heard of programming but didn’t know how it worked”, said António, a 14-year-old student. “I think that continuous learning is very important because it may be useful in the future. The future will be more technological, so we have to know the basics”, added Patrícia.

The ROB9-16 Maker Weeks are important opportunities that mark the academic future of its participants, as they allow to teach anyone, in a dynamic way, the theoretical fundamentals and put the learning into practice, and clarify doubts that may arise.