Level B is the second of four levels in the Intro to Robotics series. Intro to Robotics is designed to start at the very beginning and systematically teach students electronics, programming, and then how to combine those skills to build a functional robot.
Along the way they will learn how to use common electrical components, read schematics, troubleshoot, and craft every line of computer code.
All students should start with Level A which is designed to teach skills from the very beginning and requires no previous knowledge. Click here
to learn more.
Q. Does my student need to complete Level A before starting Level B?
A. Yes. Please be sure your student completes Level A first. Level B builds on both the equipment and coding skills learned in Level A. Your student will also need the electrical components kit from Level A to complete Level B.
Q. How many lessons are in Level B and how long does each lesson take?
A. There are 18 lessons and each lesson will take approximately 60-90 minutes to complete. We recommend aiming to complete 1-2 lessons per week. A single level will take 9-18 weeks to complete depending on lesson frequency.
Please note, as the concepts taught in Level B are more complex than Level A, parents of younger students should consider significantly slowing down lesson frequency to perhaps once per week or less. This would allow the student to complete the lesson more than once if needed and to practice the new skills prior to moving on to the next lesson. Keep in mind because students are constantly building on previous skills, there are lots of options for experimenting with new skills in between lessons to include other skills and components that were taught previously.
Middle school students should aim to complete Levels A and B in 1+ school year (we strongly encourage moving at your child's individual pace--there's plenty of time to complete all four levels!)
High school students can aim to complete A and B in a single semester if desired (Levels A and B together represent 0.5 credits).
Q. Can the curriculum be used by the student independently?
A. Yes, the Intro to Robotics curriculum is written directly to the student and assumes both child (and parent) have no background in electronics, programming, or robotics. How successful a child will be at self-teaching will depend on age, maturity level, and motivation of the child. In the event you have a younger or less mature child, we would encourage you to learn alongside your child.
Please note, all students should complete Level A prior to moving on to Level B.
Q. What if we have a question or run into a problem?
A. We are thrilled to help! Contact us via email or live chat and we will help you get back on the right track.
Q. What should my child do after completing this course?
A. After a student completes Level B, they will have intermediate electrical and programming skills they can use to tackle beginner and many intermediate Raspberry Pi projects they find online. We also recommend students move on to Level C to continue their robotics education:
- Level C: Incorporating Audiovisual and Advanced Programming (Spring 2018)
- Level D: Working with Motors and Taking It Mobile (Summer 2019)
Q. I’m only interested in my student being introduced to electronics and programming, does he or she need to complete all four levels?
While each level builds on the previous level, we have designed this course so a student can stop upon the completion of any level and still have solid, complementary skills in working both with electrical components as well as the most common Python coding commands. While we do recommend students continue to work through successive levels, we recognize that won’t be appropriate for all children, and some families may be content with the skills and exposure gained in completing only one, two, or three levels.
Q. Why does this program teach Python instead of a different programming language.
A. We teach Python for a several reasons:
- Python is currently the fastest growing computer language. Companies such as YouTube, Dropbox, Google, Quora, Instagram, Spotify, Reddit, and Yahoo Maps used Python to build their platforms. While programming languages tend to come and go over time, Python is well rooted and is likely to be a popular language for many years.
- Python is particularly well suited to beginners. The code is intuitive and easy to read. It also requires far fewer lines of code to accomplish tasks compared to other popular languages such as C++ and Java.
Q. Are the curriculum and kit reusable for other children?
Yes! The contents of the kit and the curriculum are fully reusable for multiple children in the same family. The curriculum may not be resold or given away to another family. If teaching multiple children simultaneously, it may be helpful to purchase multiple component kits so each child has their own set but this is not required. Click here
to purchase an additional component kit. Schools and co-ops, please click here
for ordering and pricing information.
Q. Can I use this curriculum for high school credit for a home schooled student?
A. Yes, Level B can be combined with Level A to make a half credit high school robotics course. Level C and D will be released over the following ~10 months and can round out a full credit high school course.
Q. Will we need additional equipment?
A. Yes, besides the Level B curriculum and kit, there are a few things you will need but you should have all these items on hand from completing Level A:
- Level A Components Kit
AA Batteries x2
Computer Monitor (or television provided it has HDMI inputs)
HDMI cable (likely currently attached to your computer monitor)
Keyboard and Mouse (use a wired keyboard and mouse if possible)
Internet access, wired or wireless (required for several lessons)
Please note, none of the equipment needs to be exclusive to the Raspberry Pi. The student can easily hook up the family computer monitor, keyboard, mouse, and internet access each time they do a lesson if resources need to be shared.
For more information, check out this video where Julie walks you through the extra equipment requirements.
Q. How will I receive my order?
A. The PDF file containing the curriculum can be downloaded following purchase. The component kit will be mailed to you within several business days.
We do not offer printed copies of the curriculum for several reasons:
- When reviewing concepts, students benefit greatly from being able to search the curriculum document for information about a skill they are working with.
- The technology students will be working with changes regularly and we typically update the curriculum every 2-3 months to assure students are working with the latest information. Sometimes the changes are significant (screen layout, menu options, procedures, etc.) It is advantageous for students to have access to this updated information via the electronic copy of the curriculum. We want them to keep moving forward with their lessons, not getting stuck and frustrated because a menu option changed.
- We want to save some trees and keep your cost down! Our program is lengthy and the book would not only be heavy to carry around, it's simply unnecessary to print it. All lessons can be read and completed with the file pulled up on a tablet, laptop or desktop.
- If you wish to print a full copy of the curriculum, we recommend The Homeschool Printing Company for their quality work and reasonable prices.