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– LFI Super Coders’ Foxrock Class Activities

Eirsat Satellite Patch Design submitted Oct 2018

What do we do in the group?  

THE AIM is have a fun and positive learning experience, where the children can learn coding and enjoy using the computer, by making their own games and playing together on the network. 

They use  Maths to make their sprites move around and  as there is a variety of  activities for them to choose  the children can work together or at their own pace as it suits them.  There are lots of stickers, certificates and prizes to recognize all the skills they are learning and games they create. 

PROJECTS:

This year we are flying high to space! 

So far most of the children chose to enter a space competition for Space Week.

Floating in space! As part of this we watched some videos about life on board the International Space Station, and watched astronauts float around, brushing their teeth, and explaining how they go to sleep and more.

Ireland’s First Satellite! We also watched a short video on the Astro Lab in UCD and met the team building Ireland’s first space satellite. We got to see it in its development stage.

Most of the children entered a competition to design a logo for this satellite, as every satellite worth its salt needs a unique logo or ‘mission patch’ to be stuck on it.  This was part of an educational project for Space Week.  The logos will be exhibited in UCD at some stage.

EIRSAT 1  – Ireland’s First Satellite – Designing its Mission Patch Competition 

Space Week – October 2018

There were some great designs by the children (note the flying leprechaun!) and lots of discussions and videos about space … some children have already been to NASA and played on the old rockets!  Here’s a sample of some below:

                              

PROGRAMMING A ROBOT CAR!  – The Botley Robot Car.  

The New Year has brought a new project, programming the Botley Robot Car.  This car can be programmed on the remote, (screen free) to move around and avoid obstructions. It uses loops and if – then sequencing too.  This is particularly suitable for the younger children newer to coding.

Botley’ has won many awards: it is one of the finalists for Toy of The Year in the USA (2019), and won the ‘Brain Child’ award by Tillywig (2018).

FOR MORE EXPERIENCED CODERS …. 

Project — Astro-Pi – Space Adventure!  

Writing to Astronauts on the International Space Station!

The European Space Agency and Raspberry Foundation are running a competition to encourage coding and scientific investigations in space using the Pis and ‘sense hats’.

Some of the more experience students have entered this international competition for primary schools and they coded a message using Python on the Pis to run on LED lights on a ‘sense hat’ attached to the raspberry pi.  They also needed to write some code measuring pressure or temperature on the sense hat in space  that will be read by astronauts on their Raspberry Pi on a space shuttle orbiting earth!

Mission Zero 

Click here to see one of messages in Python sent off to astronauts in International Space Station (ISS), saying ‘Hi’ and measuring temperature and humidity using the online virtual sense hat, a piece of equipment which can sit on top of their Raspberry Pi in real life and measure heat, movement and more. The messages from children around the world will be played in May 2019 and certificates will issue indicating their run time.

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ONLINE PROGRAMS = online educational coding programmes the students are working through.

Other skills being learnt as they go along:

Maths is needed to plot the position of their animations and make them move:

  • X, Y axis and coordinates
  • angles … move 90 degrees south
  • Compass directions (north, south, east and west).

Techie Stuff –

 

  • assembling and trouble shooting their computer station – This mini computer has been designed a few years ago in the UK for children learning coding and comes pre-loaded with lots of fun programs.
  • upgrading the Raspian Operating System,
  • customising their Pi.

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OTHER FUN ACTIVITIES

Binary Bracelets

Bracelets made for a loved one or themselves using 2 different coloured glass beads to spell out their name

Astronomy

There are some short stunning YouTube videos  with beautiful photos of nebulae and galaxies courtesy of the Hubble telescope, which I hope  encourages a wider interest in science.

Sonic Pi – electronic music

This electronic music system comes free with the Pi, and some children have a lot of fun making tunes using this.

Minecraft – Pi Version 

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RESOURCES

Programs:

*** Scratch MIT

*** Code.org

*** BBC Dance Mat – Touch Typing

** Sonic Pi – electronic music

*** Pi version of Minecraft

*** Raspberry Pi.org

Raspberry Pi Projects

Books

*** 20 Games to Create with Scratch by Max Wainewright

* Code Your Own Space Adventure by Max Wainewright (a bit wordy, students say)

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