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Activity 1 Level 1 - Algorithms

Writing an algorithm to navigate a maze

In this activity (which is computational thinking without using digital tools) you will be writing algorithms using a paper based grid. You will write an algorithm to help a character navigate a maze, then swap with another student/group and see if you can follow their algorithm to solve their maze. You can use any grid that shows a start and end point, but here is an example.

ALGORITHM - The academyEX Maze (empty)

You can download the grid using the following link

The academyEX Maze

In small groups, work through the following steps:

  1. Add a set of obstacles to the grid for another team. The starting point is the bottom left-hand square and the finishing point is at academyEX.

    • Make it challenging, but do make sure it is actually possible to reach academyEX by moving only up, down or sideways (not diagonally)!

  2. Swap sheets with another group. Your group's task is to design a written code that describes a set of step-by-step instructions (an algorithm) that takes you from the starting point to academyEX.

    • Create two versions - first, one that uses only sequence, then a second that includes repetition

  3. Swap the sheets back to test the codes!

  4. Discuss how your algorithms were written.

    • What variations were there?

    • Did you see any good ideas from other groups?

    • What advantages were there in using repetition in your algorithms?