Learning to code is a big topic of conversation these days with a lot of discussion about the importance of teaching young people coding and programming skills. Why is this such a big topic of conversation? Because when anyone learns to code/program they have the chance to spend time critically thinking, problem solving, and troubleshooting. All important skills to have in the 21st century.
Acquiring these skills is definitely a part of Cargo-Bot, an app that uses game-play to teach the ideas behind coding and programming. Playing Cargo-Bot requires programming each game in order to achieve a a particular goal. All goals require moving boxes of cargo across or down the screen. And, while the first goals are pretty simple it doesn't take too long for the game to become more complex and require that players think about not just left, right, up, and down but the order of those moves, looping moves, and specifying when and when not to actually make a move.
You can see how it all works in the screencast below.
Cargo-Bot is a great app for teens and library staff that are interested in learning about the basic type of thinking required in order to start programming. Anyone who plays won't end up creating an app or website, but they will end up with a good sense of computational thinking and the kinds of things required to program and instruct a computer or device how to achieve specific goals.