Rosie's Walk

It is the first day of Robotics in a kindergarten class at Sunalta School in Calgary. The students have been reading stories and working at activity centres all about farms and farm animals. One of the books they have read time and time again is Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins , the story about Rosie, the hen, who leaves the chicken coop to walk around the farm and back home again completely unaware that a clumsy fox is tracking her every move.

Rosie's Door Robot
The robotic door to Rosie's chicken coop.

"Imagine the poor farmer in the field watching Rosie as the fox gets closer and closer. Can we make a robot that will close her chicken coop door whenever the fox comes too close?"

The students decide that the fox is much heavier than Rosie, after all Rosie walked over the haystack and the fox fell into the haystack. Our first robot's job is to close the door if the touch sensor is pressed.

It sounds easy to do but at first the robot makes the door go round and round and it doesn't stop. The students change the program and the motor only twitches because it stops too soon. By the end of the day, the students make the robot close the door when the button is pressed.

Each following Robotics time the story gets more detailed and the task becomes harder until, at the end of Robotics, the robot will close the door if the fox comes along, turn on a light so Rosie isn't in the dark, will play a song from music class to entertain Rosie while she waits, make an annoying noise just in case the fox is still hanging around and then open the door.