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Coding Communication Challenge



Social Emotional Learning

Experience Level

Grades 1-3

Grades 3-5


15-30 minutes

Group Size

Small Groups (2-4)

Compatible Robots

Root rt0 Coding Robot

Root rt1 Coding Robot


In this coding challenge, students will practice collaboration and communication skills in order to conquer a robot obstacle course while maintaining a safe distance.

Downloads & Resources

Coding Communication Challenge Lesson Plan

With the Class

  1. Divide students into pairs. One student will serve as the Robot Wrangler (RW) and one will be the Coding Captain (CC).
  2. Seat the RW at the Robot Station. Seat the CC at the Coding Station, facing away from the Robot Station so they cannot see Root.
  3. Challenge the RW to create an obstacle course on the whiteboard grid, either with their dry-erase marker or the vinyl clings. The CC should not be able to see the obstacle course Their course should contain: One (1) starting point
    1. Three (3) “checkpoints” for Root to reach
    2. Two (2) “obstacles” for Root to avoid
    3. and one (1) finish point
    4. NOTE: Obstacle course requirements can be scaled up or down for difficulty level).
  4. After the course has been assembled, challenge the RW and CC to code Root to complete the obstacle course. They must do so only by verbal communication, as the CC will not be able to see the course and the RW does not have access to the coding device.
  5. Make sure to wipe down the entire coding station, including Root, whiteboard grid and clings before switching groups.
Educational Standards

CSTA K-12 CS Standards


Model daily processes by creating and following algorithms (sets of step-by-step instructions) to complete tasks.


Model the way programs store and manipulate data by using numbers or other symbols to represent information.


Develop programs with sequences and simple loops, to express ideas or address a problem.


Decompose (break down) the steps needed to solve a problem into a precise sequence of instructions.


Debug (identify and fix) errors in an algorithm or program that includes sequences and simple loops.


Create programs that include sequences, events, loops, and conditionals.


Decompose (break down) problems into smaller, manageable subproblems to facilitate the program development process.


Test and debug (identify and fix errors) a program or algorithm to ensure it runs as intended.

Next Generation Science Standards


Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.


Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.


Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.


Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.


Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.