Code music

Code your own music

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.

It’s a fun way of linking the 2 subjects.

 

Robot wars

Robot wars

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.

Click here for Leeds

Click here for York

 

remote control

Program a remote control robot

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.

Click here for Leeds

Click here for York

 

Switches

Switches,switches, switches

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.

We have:

  • Fire button style switches
  • Magnet operated switches
  • Tilt switches
  • Motion sensitive switches
  • Multi switches
  • Toggle 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 tilt switch

A tilt switch

A toggle based fire switch

A toggle based fire switch

 

Using a FUNCTION in Scratch

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:

  1. Take the number and divide it by 100
  2. Multiply that answer by the percentage you want
  3. 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.

function

Using REPETITION in Scratch

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

Using pseudocode:

  1. Declare a variable called MULTIPLIER
  2. Make MULTIPLIER = 0
  3. Work out 5 x MULTIPLIER
  4. PRINT the answer
  5. Add 1 to MULTIPLIER
  6. Repeat steps 3 – 5
  7. STOP the code when MULTIPLIER = 12

This is how the code looks like in Scratch.

repetition

 

 

Summer holiday fun

What a great summer holiday! Some new workshops and some traditional ones. We introduced 2 new ones which proved highly successful and we will be repeating later on.

The new ones were Morse code programming and Make a tune on a programmeable chip. It was great fun to see the children engage with music and explore different tones. As for Morse code, some great examples and children developed their Scratch skills which will help them in later life.

We are now working on some new ones for half term and after Christmas as well.

Easter workshop fun

What a  great start to the Easter. Sold out sessions and lots of children keen to do coding and physical electronics.

Just some examples of what’s been happening.

sonic

These are some children coding music with Sonic Pi. It seems that knowing your Grade 1 piano pieces helps with inspiring your composition.

joystikcs

And a packed out session of children learning to code joystick games using the Arduino. Some very inventive ideas.

We used neopixels to create some bright lights.

neo1

And of course, we did Minecraft

minecraft1