# Snowflake Symmetry Unplugged Coding Activity

This snowflake symmetry unplugged coding activity pairs math + tech! Build the snowflakes, determine the algorithm, and run the code to collect all of the snowflakes to make it through the maze!

This activity works great as an Hour of Code activity in a classroom or homeschool setting! Similar block coding activities are also available on coding websites and applications for kids including ScratchKodable, and Code.org.

## WHY ARE UNPLUGGED CODING ACTIVITIES IMPORTANT?

Unplugged coding activities allow students to participate in tangible opportunities that help them relate the concepts they are learning to their own lives.

These coding activities are designed to encourage collaboration among peers as students work in groups or pairs to design solutions and test them together.

Unplugged activities are great for classrooms or homes that don’t have access to the internet or a computer and ideal for young students who don’t have the experience working with computers. It’s never too early to start teaching kids to code.

## KEY COMPUTER PROGRAMMING TERMS

A command is an instruction for a computer. Algorithms are a list of commands that a computer or robot can follow to complete a task. Programs are algorithms that are written for computers.

A bug is an error that stops a program from working. To fix a bug, you must debug or find and fix bugs in the program.

## Snowflake Symmetry

Snowflakes are symmetrical. Rotational symmetry occurs when an object looks the same after it is rotated.

In the case of snowflakes, rotational symmetry occurs 6 times since most snowflakes have six points. The center of the snowflake can be referred to as the center of rotation.

In order to qualify as rotational symmetry, a snowflake must be able to rotate by less than 360° and appear unchanged.

Learn more about rotational symmetry and make Disney Frozen snowflake resist art!

## How to Use Snowflake Symmetry Cards

To begin this activity, print out the snowflake symmetry cards, laminate (optional, but recommended!), cut out the pieces including the middle dotted line, and mix up the pieces.

Rebuild the snowflake cards using symmetry and identifying the appropriate match for each half.

On the top right of the cards, you’ll find “Snowflake” followed by a number. This is the order of snowflakes you’ll need to complete your unplugged coding activity.

## Snowflake Symmetry Unplugged Coding activity

Commands are steps to perform a task. When you write a command, you do not put a space between the words and you always end the command with parentheses.

Writing code its you create your own set of instructions for your robot (or in this case your walking fingers) to carry out.

Your goal is to figure out which instructions, in which order, will result in a great working code!

Start by writing commands to perform tasks in your maze. For example, you’ll need to moveUp() or moveForward() to start.

For beginning kid coders, we suggest using the following commands:

moveUp ()
moveRight ()
moveLeft ()
moveDown ()
catchSnowflake ()

For more experienced kid coders, we suggest using the following commands:

moveForward ()
turnLeft ()
turnRight ()
catchSnowflake ()

## Write an Algorithm to Complete the Maze

Arrange your snowflakes in “Snowflake #” order and determine the algorithm to collect all of the snowflakes following the order.

After you have determined the correct path with commands, run your code by walking your finger through the maze and picking up the snowflakes along the way.

There is only one correct path to get through the maze and collect all of the snowflakes.

## Snowflake Symmetry Unplugged Coding Answers

There is only one correct path through the maze due to the two Rules listed on the worksheet.

For beginning kid coders, we expect the answer below.

Start
moveUp()
moveRight()
moveUp()
catchSnowflake()
moveLeft()
moveUp()
catchSnowflake()
moveUp()
moveUp()
catchSnowflake()
moveRight()
moveRight()
catchSnowflake()
moveDown()
moveLeft()
catchSnowflake()
moveDown()
moveRight()
catchSnowflake()
moveRight()
moveUp()
catchSnowflake()
moveUp()
moveRight()
catchSnowflake()
moveDown()
moveDown()
catchSnowflake()
moveDown()
moveLeft()
catchSnowflake()
moveLeft()
moveDown()
catchSnowflake()
moveRight()
moveRight()
catchSnowflake()
moveDown()
End

For more advanced kid coders, we expect an answer below:

Start
moveForward()
turnRight()
moveForward()
turnLeft()
moveForward()
catchSnowflake()
turnLeft()
moveForward()
turnRight()
moveForward()
catchSnowflake()
moveForward()
moveForward()
catchSnowflake()
turnRight()
moveForward()
moveForward()
catchSnowflake()
turnRight()
moveForward()
turnRight()
moveForward()
catchSnowflake()
turnLeft()
moveForward()
turnLeft()
moveForward()
catchSnowflake()
moveForward()
turnLeft()
moveForward()
catchSnowflake()
moveForward()
turnRight()
moveForward()
catchSnowflake()
turnRight()
moveForward()
moveForward()
catchSnowflake()
moveForward()
turnRight()
moveForward()
catchSnowflake()
moveForward()
turnLeft()
moveForward()
catchSnowflake()
turnLeft()
moveForward()
moveForward()
catchSnowflake()
turnRight()
moveForward()
End

## SOME BOOKS TO READ WITH YOUR UNPLUGGED CODING ACTIVITY

Check out these great computer science books for kids!

## WHY ARE CODING ACTIVITIES IMPORTANT?

Unplugged coding activities are designed to introduce the concept of coding. These activities can be games and lessons that teach children how to think logically, how to break down large tasks, and how to identify errors.

## RELATED UNPLUGGED CODING ACTIVITIES

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## Winter STEAM

Find more winter STEAM activities for kids!

## Meet Toni, the Maker Mom behind Our Family Code

Hey there, I’m Toni! I’m a software engineer and Maker Mom that finds my joy in unleashing my children’s curiosity by exploring STEAM concepts with my fantastic five!

When I’m not chasing toddlers or raising tweens, you can find me tearing things up and putting them back together over here at Our Family Code.

I am the owner and content creator of multiple educational websites designed to increase access to STEAM & STEM education with a focus on teaching computer science and coding to kids of all ages!

You can also find out more about me by visiting ToniGardner.com!

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Sarah Lynn Magargal

Tuesday 14th of December 2021

Oh my Gosh, finding this sight was like finding a Gold Mine! Our school added Computer Science this year & we have no curriculum or a budget. Thank you so much for the free stuff. Best Christmas ever in my Computer Lab!!

Toni

Tuesday 28th of December 2021

@Sarah Lynn Magargal, I am SO THRILLED that you found my site and are loving the material I offer!! I'm working on a ton of new free computer science activities that I'll be posting over the next couple of months as well as some beginning a series of Python activities and Scratch Coding activities geared specifically for young kid coders!