AP CompSci Unit 1: Jeroo

An introduction to Java Programming with the Jeroo Simulation


Welcome to the beginning of AP Computer Science!  Our class will spend the year learning how to program in the Java programming language, and by the end of the year you’ll be ready for the AP exam and also able to sit down and create your own computer programs from scratch!  To do this, we start our programming with a simplified version of Java that exists in a stand-alone program called “Jeroo”.  Jeroos are small programmable arrows that you can tell to do different things.  By learning how to program them, you’ll learn how to:

  1. Instantiate new objects in a Java program
  2. Tell your objects what to do by using methods
  3. Solve relatively complicated computer science problems using programming!

When you’re all done with Jeroo, you’ll have a good foundation of knowledge to build your understanding of Java on top of!


(20 pts)  About 2 days

Jeroo starts with some very basic challenges.  Here you’ll need to review a few introductory videos about how Jeroo works and how to write simple programs, and then you’ll tackle 4 basic challenges.  These challenges will introduce all the simple functions that can be handled by Jeroos!


(40 pts)  About 4 days

Now that we have the basics figured out, it’s time to get serious!  Here you’ll learn how to teach your Jeroos to make decisions using different control structures like “if” and “if-else”.  These new tools will get your Jeroo moving in new ways and give it the power to make decisions for itself!


(20 pts)  About 3 days

Before we wrap up our work with Jeroo, it’s time to give ourselves one last super challenge!  In this last part of the unit, you’ll get to choose one (1) really difficult super challenge for your Jeroos to tackle.  Then, you’ll take a few days to work through it.  All of the super challenges can be done, but they require some serious persistence and problem solving!

PART 1: Jeroo

Beginning programming with the Jeroo Simulation

Jeroo Reference

Our journey into the world of programming starts with something called Jeroo.  The Jeroo simulation is a self-contained programming environment that lets you write Java programs on the left hand of the screen, and view the result of your program on the right-hand side.  Programming is a funny thing that when it works, you’re the one that made it work; but when it fails, that’s your fault too.  Here, we’ll start with the basics of programming by tackling some basic Jeroo challenges!


 Take a full page of notes about Jeroo and the various tools built into it.  Make sure to include details from the three introductory videos.

 Complete the four (4) Basic Jeroo Challenges!

Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your working Jeroo Challenges

Jeroo Introduction 1

Jeroo Re-Introduction 2

Jeroo Methods

What’s Due In Jeroo Part 1: Basic Jeroo

  • Jeroo Notes
  • 4 Basic Challenges
  • Benshoof’s Check-Off

Here’s what’s due in Part 1: Wiring

  1.  Notes on Jeroo basics and the introductory Jeroo videos
  2.  Complete all four (4) Basic Jeroo Challenges
  3.  Have Benshoof check-off your working Jeroo programs

PART 2: Advanced Jeroo

Using if, if-else, and while in advanced Jeroo programs

Jeroo Reference

In the second part of our unit, the challenge with Jeroos increases!  In the first four beginning challenges from part 1, the solutions were pretty much always a very long series of ‘hop’ and ‘plant’ commands.  These long lists of commands worked perfectly in perfect conditions, but if little things had changed (like a random net in the middle of the island), then the program would likely stop working and the Jeroo might die!

In these advanced challenges, a big part of the new challenge is that your programs need to be more generic.  By this, I mean that the same program you write for one map needs to also work (with no changes) on other maps as well.  In your folder of Jeroo Maps you’ll see that for many of our advanced challenges there are now 4 or 5 different maps provided.  This is because your new programs need to work properly on ALL the maps.  This requires some decision making which is possible with whileif, and if-else commands!

While Loops

Decisions with Jeroos

Ifs & Whiles

What’s Due In Bug Bot Part 2: Design & Draw

  • Brainstorm
  • Research
  • Pick Design & Draw
  • Benshoof’s Check-Off

Here’s what’s due in Part 1: Wiring

  1.  Brainstorm at least 10 ideas for what your Bug Bot might look like or be made of
  2.  Look up “Bug Bot Designs” on Google and see what other designs are out there.  Add 5 more ideas to your brainstorm list.
  3.  Pick what your final design will look like, and make a careful drawing in your engineering notebook
  4.  Have Benshoof check-off your careful drawing

PART 3: Build It!

Put your plan into action and build your Bug Bot in our workshop

Soldering – how to!  Give some thoughts and notes that summarize the big ideas

Check out this video on how to solder

Check out this video on how to wire your bugbot

Check out this extra video on troubleshooting

What’s Due In Bug Bot Part 3: Build It!

  • Build It
  • (Extra Credit) Decorate it
  • Benshoof’s Check-Off

Here’s what’s due in Part 3: Build It!

  1.  Get into the makerspace and build your Bug Bot!  Make sure it functions properly!
  2.  If you have extra time, give your Bug Bot that special touch by painting, lasering, or making stickers to customize it!
  3.  Have Benshoof check-off your finished, working Bug Bot

Double Check: Unit Expectations

Check what you need to have completed by the unit deadline

The purpose of this unit is to use the Engineering Design Process to wire, design, and build a working Bug Bot.  You should have had the chance to do some soldering, design your own Bug Bot, and use the tools in our makerspace to build your Bug Bot.  If you were really on-task and working hard, you should have also had time to decorate your Bug Bot to make it look super cool.  By the unit deadline, you should have completed and be able to submit the following items:

Engineering Notebook:

 (Part 1) Definition of problem, criteria, constraints, and Bug Bot Overview notes

 (Part 1) Wiring diagram, soldering notes, and wiring reflection

 (Part 2) Bug Bot Design brainstorm, notes, and careful drawing

 (Part 3) Final drawing/picture, half-page written reflection on Bug Bots

Building & Making:

 (Part 1) Wiring should work, soldering should be clean and complete

 (Part 2) Bug Bot design should be carefully drawn out including labels and diagrams

 (Part 3) The Bug Bot should be assembled and should function properly

Benshoof Checkpoints

 (Part 1) Benshoof should have seen your working wiring before you moved on

 (Part 2) Benshoof should have seen your careful drawing before you moved on

 (Part 3) Benshoof should have seen your working Bug Bot