Students learn to program robots

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HARRISBURG, Pa. --  Robotics and computer code Wednesday, as middle and high school students from Central Pennsylvania learned to program robots.  Under the direction of engineers from Birdbrain Technologies and Finch Robotics, the students formulated their own code to instruct the robots to draw snowflakes on paper.  Organizers say computer programming should be a permanent part of each school's curriculum -- and students seem to agree.

"Coding jobs are extremely important," says Andrew Sabath, a sixth grader, "because without them most of the robots that we have -- including cars, the experimental technology of self-driving cars -- they wouldn't be possible without coding."

And Sabath says the task of programming is difficult.

"If you're trying to make [the robot] do a complex maneuver, yes it's actually extremely difficult.  But something as simple as going in a straight line, making it stop when you want, saying something and coming back?  That's pretty basic.  It takes critical thinking.  You've got to think things through and you just have to go with trial and error. "

Studies have shown the number of American women majoring in science are declining.