After one year of existence of the Sagan-1 robot simulator, I’ve put together a video with pictures of all events where the application has been used by girls and boys.
Originally, I wrote the software for an educational event in November 2011 (in Java Swing), but eventually it has been used at much more occasions. Beside of my adventures documented in this video, the application was deployed by teachers in Italy (Scuola di robotica, Verona) and by the JDuchesses at JFall 2012 for a kids event. It has also be shown to the 3000 attendees at the Keynote of DEVOXX 2012 in the context of the DEVOXX 4 Kids call for action!
For the use cases, the kids were, in most of the cases, instructed to simulate a Mars mission (but the application is not limited to that, it’s just that I provide 3 missions of this type with the application). Beside of the programming, the sessions were about sensors and why they are needed, about Earth and Mars, about how to work with robots in distant places and why a simulator is used instead of just driving the robot with a joystick. Once, a 11 years old can up with a discussion about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, the part where your time goes “faster” (seen by others) when you travel faster. He had a kids-like view of the idea, but still it was very impressive and quite accurate.
The software if open-source, supports Arexx RP6 and Lego Mindstorms out of the box. You can find it in my project scrolls.