Google’s latest Doodle has been inspired by the first ever software created to help children learn to code, developed 50 years ago.
The Doodle is an interactive game where players use basic coding commands in the form of directions to help an animated rabbit collect carrots.
Players piece together directions using coding blocks at the bottom of the screen, which program the rabbit’s movements around the different courses.
It’s based on Logo, a piece of software created in the 1960s and aimed at children, which featured a small green turtle who drew lines on a black screen.
Google worked with their own coding team as well as experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to create the Doodle.
Champika Fernando from MIT said: “In the 1960s, long before personal computers, Seymour Papert and researchers at MIT developed Logo – the first coding language designed for kids. With Logo, children could program the movements of a turtle, giving them the opportunity to explore ideas in math and science.
“Papert and his colleagues envisioned that computers could eventually be used by all children as a powerful tool for learning. They saw coding as a way for kids to develop confidence and fluency with a piece of powerful, modern, and one-day ubiquitous technology.
“Kids programming on computers must have sounded futuristic and impractical in the 1960s when Logo was first created. In fact, even in the 1980s when I wrote my first lines of code, my working-class parents questioned how coding would ever benefit their nine-year-old daughter.”
The Doodle has also been rolled out to coincide with Computer Science Education Week around the world, which includes Hour of Code, a initiative where hour-long coding sessions are given to students and others.
“This week, millions of people around the world can and will have their first experience with coding, Fernando said.
“It makes me happy to think of all of the nine-year-olds who will get their first coding experience playing with today’s Doodle. My hope is that people will find this first experience appealing and engaging, and they’ll be encouraged to go further.
“In some ways, it’s very different from my first coding experience many years ago, but I hope it will be just as inspiring and influential for them.”