It’s common now to learn the basics of programming by moving graphical objects on the screen to achieve a goal. Move forward 10 times, rotate 45 degrees, move forward 15 times and you’ve reached your destination! I’m sure you’ve done this before with Scratch, Minecraft, and other programs. However, did you know that this approach to learning programming began in the 40s with physical robots?
In 1948, a neurologist Grey Walter created his first robots, named Elmer and Elsie. The robots looked and moved like tortoises. Since then, these turtle or tortoise-like robots became popular as a tool to show younger kids the power of programming. However, teaching programming with it was still a challenge.
Then in 1969, Wally Feurzeig, Seymour Papert, and Cynthia Solomon began experimenting. They created turtle robots that would be used for teaching programming to kids. They then took the idea further and created an educational programming language called Logo and were able to put the Turtle on the screen. This was pretty revolutionary back then. You no longer needed to have a clunky slow robot dragging around wires to teach and demonstrate the power of coding.
Since then Turtle Graphics has become a timeless classic loved by mathematicians, coders, and artists.
Explore the wonderful world of Turtle graphics and learn to program in Python with the free Popfizz Turtle Graphics Course. A full lesson plan and solution guide are provided for teachers. Flex your logical thinking and geometry muscles.
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