Coding in Geo: Snap! Regular Polygon Art
One of our department’s curriculum redesign goals is to incorporate a bit of coding into our curriculum, and the place they decided to place that was Geometry. We have been coding in Snap!, a block based coding platform really similar to Scratch. Block based means that students aren’t typing commands, but rather dragging and dropping them into lists to make programs. The advantage: no syntax errors, or spelling errors that are the bane of every beginning coder (wHy WoN’t It RuN?!? Well, because you have “Power” written here and “power” written here and the computer doesn’t know that you think those are the same thing). The disadvantage: it’s a bit clunky, in particular the saving and sharing system.
After an initial day where the kids explored by trying to get the program to write out an English letter, we then had them work to code in a regular polygon, something that would teach them both about loops and variables, and practice calculations of interior and exterior angles etc. Here is the packet of instructions we used, with much inspiration/petty theft from Dan Anderson (@dandersod, his conference materials).
Then, the instructions I gave them were to make a beautiful piece of art that shows of their understanding of regular polygons, coding loops and variables. Your code had to run in one click. The results were SUPER cool, and the kids loved it! Here are some below:
Sorry they are so small, but there are so many cool ones, this isn’t even all of them! Can’t wait to hang these up in the classroom.
Along the way, without me showing are really them needing to, kids figured out how to: incorporate sounds, incorporate input from the user, use randomness, and one kid figured out his own version of the sine function. I also had them write a written description of how their code works and what their artistic inspiration was, and they were adorable. I could tell how proud some kids were of their work! <3.