Computer Science classes need good bait

I ordered a Spark Fun Inventors Kit for Arduino and the Arduino Cookbook today.  It is not that I do not have enough to do but it might be an interesting diversion for my advanced kids.  Anything to keep them thinking and learning.  The physics teacher teaches a small electronic section and thought it might be a useful tool.  When I was in high school I took an electronics class.  Electricity had just been discovered I was predicting it would be more than a fad.  Good guess there.  It was one of my more enjoyable high school experiences.  I actually remember some of the stuff I learned (the stripes on a resistor mean something and bad things can happen if you short a charged capacitor).  I am also going to put a Microsoft Kinect on my tech grant this year.  Seems like there is a whole bunch of programming fun to be had there.  I kind of picture a robot with a video camera trundling down the school hall remote controlled by a kid in another room gesturing to a Kinect.  There has got to be a way.  Oh, and it has to climb stairs in our school.
There is a lot of rhetoric about getting kids into the computer science classroom.  My solution is a robot with a video camera trundling down the school hall remote controlled by a kid in another room gesturing to a Kinect.  About 10% of our kids take Programming I (out of 180 kids in the school this year), about 2% take Programming II.  My goal is to get most of that 10% in to Programming II and maybe III.  I think my plan will work.

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