The capsule that Tim Peake used to return to Earth is now at the National Rail Museum in York. There’ll be lots of activities over half term and ScratchMyPi will be there doing some fun coding activities. We’re very much looking forward to being there and engaging children in physical coding.
Want to learn how to write simple code to get a robot to move? This workshop will teach you how to write simple code to get a robot to move. You can then get it to write code to move around a circuit and teach it to react to objects in its way.
A great way of learning how to link programming and music. You’ll learn to write text based programs to make your own tunes. Change the synthesisers, the length of the notes, the speed of the tune and let your imagination go.
Another of our most popular workshops. This is a very simple workshop. We have a number of custom built robots which are controlled via remote control. They have servo motors which means you can attach arms to them that can go up and down.
The children then add wooden armour, wooden weapons and pins on the weapons. We then put balloons on the robots and they take turns to fight them. It’s very noisy and great fun.
Imagine having a remote control that can turn lights on, sound buzzers and turn on motors – and all because of your programming.
You’ll learn how a remote control works and how to ‘read’ the signals. Once you’ve learnt that, you’ll be able to program as many functions as you want from the remote control. We have robots that have been prepared with LEDs, buzzers, servos and motors. All you have to do is write the program.
Another new one for 2017, Most children will have experienced a switch as simply working when 2 pieces of metal touch together. This workshop introduces a whole new world of switches so their imagination can go wild.
Fire button style switches
Magnet operated switches
Motion sensitive switches
Key operated switches
Children can learn how to make a program react to the position of 1 or 2 switches using Scratch based programming. It could make a buzzer go, a light activate or make a character react on screen.
A function is basically a series of steps that you teach the computer – it then learns the steps and can use them when you ‘call it’. The idea is you don’t need to continually tell the computer how to do something as it already knows.
In this case, we are going to teach the computer how to work out the percentage of a number. The steps are:
Take the number and divide it by 100
Multiply that answer by the percentage you want
Print out that answer
In Scratch, you can do this using the MAKE BLOCK function. You define the block and put in how many numbers you need. In the function, you define the steps and return the answer.
You then ‘call the function’ by adding the block to the code.
REPETITION is a very useful function on coding and saves time rather than doing a long list of code. The basic idea is that you can have a variable and then write code so the variable increases by 1 (or another number) until a certain number is reached.
Example: To get Scratch to work out the 5x table
Declare a variable called MULTIPLIER
Make MULTIPLIER = 0
Work out 5 x MULTIPLIER
PRINT the answer
Add 1 to MULTIPLIER
Repeat steps 3 – 5
STOP the code when MULTIPLIER = 12
This is how the code looks like in Scratch.
Delivering the computing curriculum to primary schools