John Barnes’s Iced Coffee is Ready!
Danny Stock

It’s Kindness Week at GDS, and 6th grade students are coding coffee deliveries to their teachers during a series of robotics challenges. 

Ding! Clap! Squawk! 

Around the room, students are making seemingly random, obnoxious noises; and yet, no one seems to be bothered by them. As it turns out, students have coded a loud sound—like the Ding! of an automatic coffee maker—to trigger the start of the computer program. In this case, Abby’s loud clap initiates the sensor she’s using to measure the temperature of “coffee” in three mugs. The first mug just came out of the microwave and the moment the probe touches the liquid, a computer-generated voice announces, “Kate’s hot coffee is ready!” Middle School history teacher Kate Maloney will be so grateful!

Just moments ago, Abby had adjusted her code because the program was stubbornly announcing, “Kate’s hot—Kate’s hot—Kate’s hot—” each time the temperature sensor submerged in the hot beverage. With a simple fix to the time allotted for the announcement, the program was able to vocalize the entire sentence before being cut off. Good save!

Nearby, another student (best not to embarrass them by using their name) made a loud sound, similar to that of a dog whose tail has just been stepped on, and then dipped their sensor into a mug of lukewarm water. “Louise’s warm coffee is ready!” Another coding success for 6th grade. Middle School science teacher Louise Micallef will be grateful (and perhaps wonder why she ordered “coffee” at that particular temperature).

John celebrates the students' successful coding with an "iced coffee."

Elsewhere in the room, Middle School science teacher Stephen Harris continued signing off on students’ code as their program successfully gauged and announced the temperatures of all three beverages. They completed a reflection, “What do you think is the most versatile Snap! block you’ve used so far? What makes it so helpful?” before moving on to another coding challenge. 

When Gabe’s sensor touched the icy liquid in the third mug as Stephen was evaluating his code, the program pronounced, “John Barnes’s iced coffee is ready!” To which John himself later announced via text message, “OMG yes!” To be honest, any gesture of kindness these days—even the idea of an iced coffee made just for you—and Snap! Joy.

 

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