Robotic arms: Clutching at computational straws

I wanted to link computational thinking to tinkering with a low tech approach to explore artificial intelligence for children. Moreover, to support design thinking skills as we inspire the next generation of digital makers at Raspberry Jam and other maker events with projects sharing robotic arms and other AI examples. Construction-based activities with the clear focus on high tech progression…

STEM to STEAM: Coding Art with Sphero

An opportunity to look at drag and drop programming with the Sphero and see how far we could extend initial STEM to STEAM ideas for it. We've been controlling with a phone app and coding with Tynker, so for this project SPRK Lighting Lab was used with an iPad. Jackson Pollock style influences, although what we're…

From Leeds to #Rio2016 with Codebug

We used Codebug as a means to share local sporting  stories but the purpose was to explore possibilities using servos with maker projects. Moreover, the process of adding additional servo outputs and with them project complexities. Drum beats and robot waves were the starting point for some creative problem solving when initially tackling the code and wiring. Step by step instructions…

Sensory Tree: Festive tinkering with Soundplant & Makey Makey

A week of numerous conversations supporting plans to make computing and maker more inclusive ended with an email from a colleague that triggered this tinkering challenge. Warm Christmas wishes and the question about which device was controlling the lights on our family's tree. Was it Raspberry Pi? Actually, it was Codebug; an extension that came…

How do you solve a problem like Ada?

A glimpse into an Ada Lovelace inspired day during a Transition Week for Y6 students.  Poetic science and the obvious focus on progression of programming through algorithmic design. Challenges were created by the students themselves, who quickly discovered wearable tech possibilities using Codebug as their programmable device. Which direction did they take to use wearables as…

When cycling data becomes the input, not the output, with Raspberry Pi

Twelve months on from Le Grand Départ of the Tour de France in Yorkshire. A year since the peloton passed through North Leeds on it’s way to the ceremonial start at Harewood House and was captured by a group of young children using their Raspberry Pi mini computers. Planned, coded and created using window sills and…

(Smart) Sounds from the Classroom

We wanted to try out the Smart Citizen kit for ourselves, and then look towards comparative global opportunities, like teachers in Salford recently have.  And a couple in Hull, tentatively, too now. Link to Smart Citizen - Future Everything site But this was a family project and that very much meant being led by the youngest member.…

STEM to STEAM with a Paint-off Challenge

Think I might've sounded a little grumpy lately. Waiting expectantly for a Watercolorbot is one thing but tackling the delivery service encountering comms barriers is another *. Continually looking for approaches and resources to support the Research and Play, I thought this could be a project to explore areas for inclusive computing opportunities and the ease of transition from…