This is the first specifically PIPPIN application that we have done. It takes advantage of the very small size of the unit.

What you do is download the full-size version of the course and print it out on an A3 sheet or on an A4 sheet that you photocopy up to A3. It is best to bring it into a software application that will allow you to adjust the size so that it prints correctly. Word will do but you probably have something better. Make sure that you only adjust the size and not the shape or the course will not work.

This is a fairly mathematical activity that takes the form of a mathematical investigation.

The basic activity is to make PIPPIN follow the line. Start off going from start to finish, then try all the other ways. It turns out that there are an enormous number.

For each turn, PIPPIN can either turn left or right (e.g 120degrees right = 240 degrees left). Alternatively it can turn the "wrong" way by 180 degrees less the "right" angle followed by changing direction. So that left 120 followed by forwards something is equivalent to right 60 followed by backwards the same something.

For any of the above, you can add 360 degrees to the turn angle (real turns don't stop at 360). In some cases you can add an extra 720 degrees as long as the total turn is less than the maximum 999 degrees that you can enter into PIPPIN.

By the time the students have found all these possibilities, they have a good idea of what turning angles are.

The large version of the course is here.