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Teaching Introductory Java through LEGO MINDSTORMS Models

Barnes, David J. (2002) Teaching Introductory Java through LEGO MINDSTORMS Models. In: 02 Proceedings of the 33rd SIGCSE technical symposium on Computer science education. ACM, New York, USA, pp. 147-151. ISBN 1-58113-473-8. (doi:10.1145/563340.563397) (KAR id:13821)


Innovative teachers are continually looking for creative ideas, both to get their ideas across and to hold the interest of their students. One of the latest trends is the use of LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ kits in various computing courses. These kits allow a wide variety of physical models to be built, some of which may be programmed via the RCX™ processor integrated into them. Using its standard firmware, the RCX device may be programmed through several different specialist languages. However, the additional availability of bytecode-compatible replacement firmware for the RCX makes the use of Java™ as the programming language for it a particularly attractive approach. In this paper, we explore some of the issues associated with choosing to program MINDSTORMS models using Java within the context of an introductory programming course. In particular, we consider the impact on the material that is taught, and the use of an appropriate API to support an objects-early programming style.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1145/563340.563397
Uncontrolled keywords: computer-controlled models leJOS RCX event-driven programming
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: David Barnes
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2008 18:00 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:51 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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