Snap! and Scratch 2.0 Finch Resources

The following are resources created by us and others demonstrating how to use Finch in Snap! and Scratch. While most of the resources currently target Snap!, the environments are similar enough that they can be used for Scratch as well.

Teacher Contributed Activities

A number of educators have contributed excellent, tried-and-tested activities and assignments. Check these out first!

Mount Hebron

Mount Hebron teachers, students, and volunteers created a suite of excellent activities and tutorials using the Finch with Snap! for the hour of code in December 2013. These activities were used by hundreds of middle school students. Check them out at the Mount Hebron Finch Snap! page.

NYC Academy for Software Engineering

Sean Stern created an activity for the Finch where students program the Finch to be a game controller in an Asteroids-style game. Download the activity description and student starter project.

Vanguard College Prep

Amy Pezzoni at Vanguard created two activities that use the Finch in non-programming ways. The Linear Graphing program generates linear equations that students can test/graph with the Finch, and the Robot races program provides an interface for students to drive Finch around with either keyboard arrows or a flashlight. Each activity description comes with a teacher description (page one) and a student description (page two), as well as a sample program accessible through a link in the document.

Heathwood Hall Episcopal School

Tom Simpson at Heathwood Hall created a number of Finch and Scratch challenges. They especially focus on Finch sensors and programming elements like random numbers. Check them out!

UNH STEM Discovery Lab/Manufacturing Stories

The UNH STEM Discovery Lab recently held a workshop titled "Finch the Robot" as part of its ongoing "Design Make Code: Play to Invent and Discovery” program.  As part of the workshop they invited Dave DeWitt of Phase65, Inc. to create a Scratch activity to demonstrate concepts of mechatronics and industrial controllers using Finch. Check out the activity handout and 7 sample Scratch projects - start with the introduction.sb2 project. 

Phase65, Inc. is a media company promoting Manufacturing and STEM Education to families, educators, industry and community leaders.  You can connect with Phase65 via their website, ManufacturingStories.com.

BirdBrain Technologies-created Sample Programs

Take a look at the following ideas for activities. You can download sample solutions to all of them here.

Starter

  • Finch remote control. This one is incredibly easy but can be pretty compelling; just drag the "When space key pressed" block in and change it to up, down. left, right arrow and map those to Finch movements.
  • Finch dance. Choose a song, try to time Finch movements to it, maybe also change the LED color each time it moves. A good example of scripting more than programming.

Control structures

  • Finch light follower. Break out the flash lights and have the Finch either move towards or run away from light.
  • Finch obstacle avoider. Program the Finch to avoid running into objects. The Finch obstacle sensors are a bit finicky - large, lightly-colored objects make the best obstacles.

Lists

  • Gestural Programmer.  Program the Finch to help preschoolers learn programming! In a gesture programmer, you pick up the Finch during the record phase and tilt and roll it (so point it up, then down, then left wing down, then right wing down, etc). Then, in the play phase, the Finch acts out those movements. In essence, you are programming the Finch's movements with your gestures, which is a great way to teach very little kids about programmability.
  • Simon Says. Create a version of Simon Says in which the movements are the way you point the Finch - as in, Simon says, point the Finch up. A more advanced version would store a sequence of movements in a list and would require you to do the entire list of things you've been told to do.
  • Pong. Create a Pong game with a ball and paddle, paddle is controlled by the Finch accelerometer

Functions

  • Make new Finch blocks that do things like draw a circle or square, move forward/backward, etc.

Other Resources

Great Google Slides introduction to using Finch in Scratch 2.0 by Bill Steinbach at Northwood STEM.

Check out these Scratch cards created by Eileen Malick.

More Scratch cards by the Greenbush team and Rich White.