Programming in Kindergarten? Well, not writing formal code using Java, but using critical thinking skills to break a problem into steps, writing those steps out in a logical sequence, and then entering those steps into a little computer with precision and attention to detail; yes, I’d call that programming. And that’s just what kindergarteners at Betsy Ross and Garfield Elementary schools are starting to learn this week in library using a programmable robot called a “BeeBot” and a grid of 6″ squares. They are working on moving a BeeBot from a starting point to a desired ending point on the grid by programming it. In groups of 6-8 students they try to plot out a path on the grid and then sequence the moves the robot would need to make to follow that path along the grid. The BeeBot can move forward, backward, turn left, or turn right. They just need to tell the BeeBot (i.e., program the robot) how to move. The sample program required the BeeBot to move over to the left one square and forward three squares to reach to goal. The first program sequence was, “forward, forward, forward, left, forward, GO” with the “GO” button telling the robot to run the program sequence. Students then tried to move the robot along differing routes to end up at the same spot. For example, another program sequence that worked was, “forward, forward, forward, left, backward, forward, forward, GO”. They are starting this project in conjunction with the “Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing” which is happening this week. Mrs. Compere likes to encourage all students, but especially girls, to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) interests, since she has a BS in Zoology and two Master of Science degrees. Students will be using BeeBots in the library for at least another week and revisit them again at least once more before winter break.