Junkbot is a fantastic free problem solving opportunity but you really
need to instill into your students the nature of problem solving, challenge, 'guess
and check' and notion of 'efficient solution' before attacking these problems.
get the students to work in pairs on these solutions so their is a lot of discussion
going on as well as a fair bit of mouse domination happening that the pair have
to deal with. The nature of the problems presented are that you need to move the
blocks around to allow the Junkbot to maneuver through various levels to pick
up garbage. The trick is that you only have a certain number of moves to solve
find a demonstration is in order. I've tried just letting them loose but alas
they cheat :) and a certain level of 'macho competitive bull***t' creeps in. You
need pay careful attention to the section on the side of the screen that tells
you how many guesses your are allowed to solve the problem.
make it a rule if the go too far beyond the maximum then you are 'just stuffing
around' and 'You have your hand on a mouse but your mind is not on solving the
problem in a way that requires thinking skills.' (Harsh I know, but fair hehehe)