Speed of the Finch

This activity was created by Andrew DeAntonio and Tim Cignetti of Valley Junior/Senior High School. It uses Snap! Levels 1-3, which were designed for introducing new programmers to the Finch.

Level 1: Elements below will be performed using Level 1 of Snap!

  1. Each forward block makes the Finch move for 1 second. Calculate the speed of the Finch in inches per second. You will need paper, a ruler, and a writing utensil. Remember, rate = distance/time.
  2. Bonus: Calculate the speed of the Finch in miles per hour.
  3. Measure the length and width of your work surface. How many forward blocks are needed to make the Finch move along each side?
  4. Measure the angle (in degrees) that corresponds to one turn block.
  5. How many blocks are needed for a 90° turn?
  6. Write a program that makes the Finch move along the perimeter of your work surface without falling off. The Finch must beep and change its beak color three times.

Level 2: Elements below will be performed using Level 2 of Snap!

  1. Each forward block makes the Finch move for half a second. Calculate the speed of the Finch for speed parameters of 10, 5, and 2.
  2. How can you make a right angle turn in Level 2 of Snap?
  3. Try out two blocks in the Control menu.

Write a script that makes the Finch move and return to the starting point. For example, the Finch might start in the center of your workspace, move to the edge, and then return to the center. This must be accomplished without following the same path in reverse.

Level 3: Elements below will be performed using Level 3 of Snap!

  1. How can you make the Finch rotate 360°?
  2. How can you program the Finch to move in a circle? What determines the size of the circle?

Select the programming task from Level 1 or Level 2 and perform that task using Level 3 of Snap!.

Extension: Write a proposal for a practical, real-world application of the Finch.

Standards: This activity is aligned with Common Core math standards for measuring angles (4.MD.C and 4.G.A); division (4.OA.A, 4.NBT.B, and 5.NBT.B); and proportions (6.RP.A, 6.EE.C, 7.RP.A, and 7.EE.B).