Program a Friend

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In this activity (on page 2), one person "programs" the other like a robot to move through a space, trying to get them to avoid obstacles and reach a goal. The idea is that computers and robots are programmed with step-by-step instructions. As the blindfolded "robot" moves through the space, the "programmer" writes down the steps for repeating later. This process of fixing problems in programs as they arise is known as "iterative testing." [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Large room
  • Supplies to use as obstacles: pillows, chairs, etc.
  • Blindfold
  • Pencil/Pen
  • Paper


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Computing
      • Computer Science
    • Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
    • Technology
      • Information and Communication
  • Mathematics
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Computers
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • hear
  • be mobile

Learning styles supported:

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


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, ESI-0206403