February 12, 2020

Why computational thinking?

for Molecular Biology and Genetics

It is not about computers

Computational thinking is about problem solving

Almost any problem can be solved using computational thinking

For example: Sports, Projects, Science

Key parts of computational thinking

breaking down a complex problem or system into smaller parts
Pattern Recognition
looking for similarities among and within problems
focusing on the important parts only, ignoring irrelevant detail
developing a step-by-step solution to the problem

Has a place in the Scientific method

Let’s do something fun

Let’s draw

  • Take a blank paper and draw Turkey’s flag
  • write a text explaining how to draw the flag
    • Use Markdown and send it by email
    • If you do not have computer, do it in paper
    • Always deliver on time

Interesting rules

  • Forbidden words:
    • moon
    • star
  • Good words:
    • line
    • angle
    • distance

Let’s play with LEGO

Animation in Scratch

Key words

Exercise 1: 🍎

Make a scratch of a falling apple

  • Start at X=0, Y=100
  • How does the apple move?
  • Question: what happens when the apple hits the floor?
  • This version should repeat until the apple hits the floor

Exercise 2: 🏀

Make a scratch of a falling ball

  • Start at X=0, Y=100
  • The ball must bounce in every wall

Exercise 3: 🎾

Make a realistic ball

  • velocity changes
  • acceleration due to gravity


Homework 1B: a simple game

Modify exercise 2 to have a paddle in the bottom

The ball only bounces when it hits the paddle

You can move the paddle with the mouse or the keyboard

  • What should be the size of the paddle?
  • What is the score?