This is a CSTA partner post.
By David Ewing
One of our guidelines when we first dreamt up Firia Labs’ virtual robotics environment was to avoid it feeling too much like a game. Instead, our aim was to replicate the sensation of working with tangible, physical hardware. Why? Because we wanted the digital environment to hold the same authenticity as our CodeBot and CodeX curricula.
Let’s step back a moment. Our first set of simulated environments, inspired by a school setting, was a true labor of love. Picture this: a classroom transformed with a sprawling line-following track across desks, mimicking a setting that, while possible in the real world, is undoubtedly a tad more cumbersome than in our simulator. That’s the ethos behind each challenge we’ve developed: real-world scenarios that, though feasible, would be difficult but awesome to see in reality. Challenges like climbing a massive wooden structure in the gym (using the accelerometer for navigation), or a dance competition in the auditorium with floating balloons as moving targets. Our “Level-1 Python with Virtual Robotics” mission pack was crafted to provide rigorous Python learning, ensuring learners can start from ground zero and ultimately obtain industry standard Python certifications.
But, innovation doesn’t stop at replicating the real. It extends to imagining the fantastic.
That’s why we’ve always been excited about the idea of a haunted house. Picture our CodeBot maneuvering through the gloom, facing challenges that range from eerily realistic to delightfully surreal. This year, we’ve turned that dream into reality. As Halloween approaches, what better time to introduce our haunted house as a FREE mission pack?
The haunted house isn’t just a fun backdrop; it’s a platform for learning and competition. Whether you’re diving in solo or representing a team, school, or club, there are fantastic prizes up for grabs. We’re talking about winning a physical CodeBot and enticing gift card prizes! Our goal? Simple. Ignite that fiery passion for learning in students, and sometimes, as we all know, a little incentive goes a long way.
The Haunted Code Chronicles, while infused with the spirit of Halloween, isn’t just a seasonal treat. We intend to keep it available indefinitely. So, even if the thrill of the competition has passed, learners can still face off against the haunted house’s challenges, refining their Python skills along the way. Tailored to cater to a wide age group (we believe even ten-year-olds can brave this challenge with no prior coding knowledge), the haunted house truly has “low floors and high ceilings.” The Python-powered challenges offer both accessibility for beginners and complexity for the pros. You have the full Python language at your disposal after all! Those with more skills can achieve higher scores.
Until then, happy… and hauntingly fun coding!
Join us, spread the word, and let’s make learning Python an unforgettable adventure!