A-Mazing Robot

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This activity lets you program your 'robot' (a willing friend) to pick up and dispose of some 'toxic waste' using as few commands as possible. Learners create command cards (Turn Left, Right, Forward 1, etc.), mark out a simulation area on the floor, and try to get the "robot" to dispose of something that serves as "toxic waste" into something that serves as a "containment vessel" - in as few steps as possible. Strategy, predication and cooperation are all part of this activity. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Archive.org. Activity write-up only, images are unavailable.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Game


Materials List (per group of students)

  • a friend
  • cards (about 20) - can use index cards, or paper cut into squares
  • A simulation area on the floor marked off in a 10 x 10 grid
  • something to serve as "Toxic Waste".
  • Something to serve as a "Containment Vessel".


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Computing
      • Computer Science
      • Information Systems
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving

Informal Categories

  • Computers
  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • TryScience