Ocean City Primary School Puts Twist on March Madness

Ocean City Primary School Puts Twist on March Madness

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3rd grade student, Isabelle Tolbert, creating an algorithm for her robot to move towards the higher points on the board. The customized game board is projected onto the floor using a smart projector. As the robot moves and stops in the numbered squares the points disappear from the board.

OCEAN CITY, NJ (March 24, 2017)- March Madness is taking over the Ocean City Primary School, but the students aren’t associating the annual event with basketball. Instead they are competing in their very own version of a bracket-style coding tournament. The competitive game is called Capture the Kingdom, where student teams attempt to capture points by programming a robot to move to designated areas on 6 foot by 6-foot game board. The team with the most points wins.

The game was introduced as part of a coding unit of the students’ new technology program. Students are learning lessons in coding, robotics, 3D printing, and computer assisted design as early as 1st grade. Randy Kohr, teacher of the program, loves the activity because “it is a mathematics game and the kids don’t even realize it. As they are playing, students are practicing computer programming and problem solving skills, as well as implementing knowledge of metric measurement, angles, addition and sequential thinking.” The blue Dash robots used in the game were donated to the school by the Parent Teacher Association and are controlled using a block programming app on an iPad called Blockly. Students build algorithms and the robot carries them out.

3rd grade student, Isabelle Tolbert, creating an algorithm for her robot to move towards the higher points on the board. The customized game board is projected onto the floor using a smart projector. As the robot moves and stops in the numbered squares the points disappear from the board.
The 2nd grade team of Cole Haverly and Anna Wisnefski, analyze the game board to determine their next move. Each team member takes turns programming the iPad and collecting captured points.

The 2nd grade team of Charlie Beseris and Wyatt Tolson were one of 10 teams that won their classroom bracket and are moving onto the finals. When asked about the game Beseris said, “I like it because there is a lot of strategy and to be good at the game you really have to know your angles and measurement. I can’t wait to play in the finals.”

More information about the game and the tournament are available online on the technology lab’s website www.octechlab.org. The final rounds are scheduled for the end of March and the overall champions will be dubbed the Kings or Queens of code.