Introducing programming skills in children through toys (robot) to enhance their cognitive skills and critical thinking

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As decade after decade passes, the world has proved extremely progressive especially in technology. As the world goes completely digital and most people become computer savvy, it is pivotal to have programming skills to avoid becoming redundant. In creating a world where programming skills is a culture, it is necessary to instil such skills right from the start with children. Therefore, teaching programming in schools is just as necessary as other core subjects. Nevertheless, in many schools in Africa, programming is a skill that many meet while in university if and only if the school in which they attend has a curriculum that forces them to do so otherwise it remains a gap in the education. Programming is core in developing critical thinking, computational thinking, and problem solving skills among children. Besides programming being taught, it is ideal that the method used to impart knowledge is fun, easier and the best in aiding understanding. This project proposes the use of the Safari (robot) developed using Arduino and Dual Tone Multiple Frequency (DTMF) to teach programming concepts to children using a phone as a controller to move the robot in four main directions; right, left, forward, backwards and repetitively. This will be useful both in schools and homes to teach young children programming concepts for its ease of use and enhancing fun.
Applied project submitted to the Department of Computer Science, Ashesi University, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, April 2018
programming, problem solving, critical thinking, robot toy