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Teaching Kids Programming with Robot Turtles
By: Emory Brown
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When I was growing up we played games like Mouse Trap, Monopoly, Go Fish…those of us old enough to remember know the drill. Yet today, preschool kids are learning the fundamentals of computer programming by using super-powered robot turtles to educate and empower them to become the next generation of people who will be creating tech.

Robert Turtles is the cutest board game. You wouldn’t think by looking at it that it was enriched with the basics of computer programming. The game is based on a computer language known as “Logo Programming Language,” which uses what are called “Turtle Graphics” to introduce images on the screen.
 
Although normally used as a computer language to get kids interested in computer programming once they are old enough to read, the creator of the game, Dan Shapiro, decided to utilize his years of experience as a programmer to create a game that didn’t require reading at all. He wanted to use what kids three to eight years of age all like: cool super-powered cartoon characters. In this case, it’s little turtles with lasers mounted on their backs to help kids blast through walls as they advance across the board. Robot Turtles has become such a hit as a board game that it shipped to over 64 countries across the world for Christmas 2013. 

Originally funded through Kickstarter, a crowdsourced fundraising site, the game raised over $600,000. Robot Turtles is truly on its way to becoming a cult classic among techie parents in Silicon Valley and worldwide as games fly off the e-commerce shelves. Plus, the kids love it! The turtles are truly super cool and gameplay is so enjoyable and educational that parents don’t have to monitor gameplay like one may have to when allowing little ones to play with crazy games that can be downloaded via tablets. 

Just think; this all started out as a game a dad wanted to create for his kids because he was tired of the lackluster preschool board game industry. He set out to create something that would be impactful for his kids' futures. Now it is impacting kids all around the world.
 
Imagine how future programmers will be talking 20 years from now when someone asks them, “How did you get into programming?” They might reply with, “I got Robot Turtles for Christmas when I was like four and I’ve been blasting out code every day since.”
 
Now that’s what I call a lesson well learned. 


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About the Author
Emory Brown is an award-winning creative director/writer whose mission is to spread the gospel of what great marketers can do when they put their heads together and work together for the greater good and not the bottom line. Working with many esteemed clients, his portfolio of work ranges in genre from conservative to ultra-modern including American Family Insurance, United Airlines, Mazda 6 and RX-8, Illinois Lottery, Tyson, Miller Genuine Draft, Nike Air Force 1, and Mercedes Benz, to name a few.  
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