SAS CodeSnaps: A New Way to Code!

Some people think that K-12 computer science requires a large budget, a classroom full of tablets and robots, and an experienced tech teacher. We are pleased to dispel those myths--and introduce you to SAS CodeSnaps!
cs_socialtile_imageCodeSnaps is a collaborative coding environment requiring only one iPad and one robot. The app takes advantage of tangible, printed coding blocks, allowing students to prepare programs together on a shared work surface without a device. After students scan the blocks with the app, commands can be executed on the connected robot (
compatible robots include Sphero, Ollie, SPRK, and SPRK+).

SAS CodeSnaps Features

All you need is one iPad and one compatible robot (Sphero, Ollie, SPRK, and SPRK+). After downloading the free app, you can expect the following:

  • Printable coding blocks perfect for student collaboration.
  • An interface for scanning code blocks into the app.
  • A digital coding space for fine-tuning scanned code or starting from scratch.
  • Optional cloud storage through your free SAS Curriculum Pathways account.
  • No internet required!

Try It Out

Looking for a fun coding lesson? Challenge students to work together in teams to navigate a Sphero robot through an obstacle course.

  1. Scanning CodeSnap blocks into the app.

    Scanning CodeSnaps blocks into the app.

    Download SAS CodeSnaps for free from the App Store.

  2. Print off the CodeSnaps blocks.
  3. Calibrate your robot using the SAS CodeSnaps app.
  4. Set up an obstacle course using materials in your classroom.
  5. Divide students into groups of three; assign each student one of three roles:
    • The Domain Expert devises the steps necessary to navigate the obstacle course.
    • The Lead Coder oversees code development, using information from the Domain Expert.
    • The Tester runs the robot through the course, noting any errors (also known as bugs).
  6. Ask the Domain Experts to measure the course and write down any additional requirements for successfully completing the course (e.g., changing colors, turning).

    Scanned CodeSnap blocks and digital coding space.

    Scanned CodeSnaps blocks and digital coding space.

  7. Under the direction of the Lead Coder, challenge groups to use their CodeSnaps blocks to write a program to navigate the robot through the course.
  8. Using the CodeSnaps app, scan the program.
  9. With supervision from the Tester, run the code and jot down any bugs.
  10. Have groups debug their code and try again!

Stay tuned for additional teacher materials and #HourofCode lesson plans coming soon!

tags: #hourofcode, 8009, code, CodeSnaps, coding, computer science, CSEdWeek

18 Comments

  1. Anna Harper
    Posted November 15, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    So cool! I just shared it with the administration and technology specialist at our elementary school.

    • Lucy Kosturko Lucy Kosturko
      Posted November 15, 2016 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Fantastic! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Posted November 21, 2016 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    Our daughters school gives students iPads but what about these robots? Where are those from?

    • Scott McQuiggan Scott McQuiggan
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      CodeSnaps works with robots from Sphero including Sphero, Ollie, and SPRK+.

  3. Jean-Francois Ducre
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Seems very interesting. Is there any other language supported, like French and can it run on Android?

    • Scott McQuiggan Scott McQuiggan
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Currently, CodeSnaps is only available in English and for iPad. Thanks for the feedback though as we continue to plan future releases!

  4. Sebastien Huot
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Very interesting way to initiate kids to programming. Wish we had that kind of thing in my time 🙂

  5. John Lam
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Cool. Everyone can code now.

  6. Sheryl
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Interesting! Good to know. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Interesting but, since it's a SAS product, I have to ask: are analytics involved?

    • Scott McQuiggan Scott McQuiggan
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      We love this question! Analytics are all around us, just not available in the code blocks to program connected robots with CodeSnaps.

  8. Bunce Leung
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I will share with my colleagues

  9. Aroop Ghosh
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Looks intriguing

  10. Bruce Densmore
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    That looks like fun.

  11. Yinka
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    This is great. Thanks for sharing this.

  12. John
    Posted November 22, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Cool

  13. KJ
    Posted November 23, 2016 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    What a great learning tool. Teaches logic! Love it.

  14. KB
    Posted November 23, 2016 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Very cool and interesting!

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