Tag Archives: PICO

Heat VS Temperature

I have been working on a HEAT VS TEMPERATURE simulation for a Grant Park coding challenge. The prototype appears below. I have limited the speed to 50 and the number of cloned objects to 50 as well. My temperature measurements at the moment are pure fiction and I would love some advice on formulas to make those more accurate.

At any rate, the idea would be to have students generate the code to create the simulation in order to explore what happens to heat and temperature when you increase or decrease the speed and/or number of particles in a substance.

Please feel free to email any feedback:  Contact Me

PICOs, Pis, Beans, Bits & Bugs – Coding Reaches out into the Real World

Coding for the most part exists in a virtual space. But there are some fascinating tools that allow learners to experiment with coding and real world objects. Here are a short list of some of those items. I will have tutorials on how some of these work as the year progresses…


PICO board

PICO board
PICO board

The PicoBoard allows you to create interactions with various sensors. Using the Scratch programming language, you can easily create simple interactive programs based on the input from sensors. The PicoBoard incorporates a light sensor, sound sensor, a button and a slider, as well as 4 additional inputs that can sense electrical resistance via included cables.

Here’s an example of PICO boards in play in a Drawing Program:

WSDCodeCHWK2PrepScratch from Keith Strachan on Vimeo.


Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi 3

In another excellent article provided to me by my Director, called “Life with Raspberry Pi: Sparking a School Coding Revolution” By Chad Sansing, I discovered that…

The Raspberry Pi is a “$25 computer that fits in the palm of your hand. While you supply the mouse, monitor, and keyboard connection, your “RPi” supplies the rest. It comes with a Linux-based operating system (an open-source alternative to Windows and Mac OSX) called Raspbian. The operating system is on a Micro SD card.”

“Using the RPi, kids can connect Scratch with Microsoft Kinect to write programs controlled by a player’s body. Or they can plug an Arduino circuit board into a laptop to light up or move attached objects by writing small “sketches”—short programs—of code.”

“Working with Python and IDLE to run a circuit or to modify a game like Minecraft makes it clear to kids how computers control the devices around us. Programming a blinking LED light or a Minecraft building helps them see how what we do with code translates into what happens virtually, on screen, as well as in the physical world of electricity.”

And that’s really just a starting place.


Arduino Beans

Arduino Beans
Arduino Beans

The LightBlue Bean is a low energy Bluetooth Arduino microcontroller that is programmed wirelessly and is perfect for your smartphone controlled projects!

“Using Bluetooth 4.0, this Arduino-compatible board is a serial protocol that allows the LBM313 Bluetooth Low Energy module and Atmega328p to communicate both messages from the client (OS X, iOS, etc.) to the Arduino. As well as send special commands to the LBM313 to do things like read the temperature sensor and set the LED.”

In other words, this tiny little bean can handle anything from opening your combination lock with your phone to reminding you to pick up milk from the grocery store, to turning your fan on automatically when you get too hot. All while running on a single coin cell battery! It’s designed for easy wirelessly programming from your iPhone, iPad, Android phone, Mac or PC!


Micro Bits

Micro Bits
Micro Bits

The Micro Bit is all about having “young people learning to express themselves digitally” through coding. Suggested projects for the Micro Bit include using its magnetometer to turn it into a metal detector, using it to control a DVD player, or programming its buttons to work as a video game controller.

In another great article provided by my Director entitled “This Is The Tiny Computer The BBC Is Giving To A Million Kids”, by Rich McCormick the situation concerning “comparatively cheap computers that have helped thousands learn programming skills, and played a part in kickstarting the British video games industry, as coders designed increasingly elaborate console games in their bedrooms. Rocks references the original BBC Micro in describing the scope of the new project. ”As the Micro Bit is able to connect to everything from mobile phones to plant pots and Raspberry Pis,“ she says, ”this could be for the internet-of-things what the BBC Micro was to the British gaming industry.”


Code Bugs

Code Bugs
Code Bugs

CodeBug is a cute, programmable and wearable device designed to introduce simple programming and electronic concepts to anyone, at any age. CodeBug can display graphics and text, has touch sensitive inputs and you can power it with a watch battery. It is easy to program CodeBug using the online interface, which features colourful drag and drop blocks, an in-browser emulator and engaging community features. Create your own games, clothes, robots or any other wacky inventions you have in mind!

WSD Coding Challenge Week 4 & 5 Drawings

Here’s the form where you can submit you drawings for this weeks challenge… Please have to try to have these submitted by week’s end.

 

WSD Coding Challenge Week 4 & 5 – Drawing App

As we zoom towards the break, I have been reminded that parent-teacher conferences have been or are in full swing. It is sometimes hard to keep up with outside projects at this time of year. With that in mind…

This week’s challenge is going to be a little different. One of the greatest thing about building an app is that you can actually start using that app!!! That, in fact, is the incredible power of coding! Solving a real problem, coming up with a solution that allows one to create or progress forward – in our case, we have been designing an app that can paint and draw!

Over the last number of weeks, Marcel Laroche’s class have been active participants in the WSDHSchallenges! One of his students has literally dropped this week’s challenge in our laps. And it’s an awesome one! See if you can guess it from just looking at the image below (posted with permission)…

Marcel Laroche's Class image

This weeks challenge is to actually USE the app you have created to PAINT or DRAW something special….

I am hoping you are all familiar with Chris van Allsburg’s book called “The Stranger”. If not, get it from the library and have a read or check out this PDF link…

The Stranger

This is a story about the seasons changing. We happen to be in the same situation right now. Spring is trying to arrive, but is having a hard time deciding whether or not it’s truly ready. What’s going on? Could it be that something like what happened in The Stranger is happening to us here in Winnipeg?


HERE’S THE CHALLENGE…

The challenge this week is to use the drawing app to draw a series of pictures…
As a classroom, decide what your picture(s) should be about? Should the class try to show pictures of Spring? Will the class retell the story of The Stranger but from a Spring point of view? Will you stick the images together in a sequence, creating a kind of image movie and add music? Get creative. I would love to post all these images online to show the power of app creation and use….

To that end, I will be posting an image submission form on Wednesday this week for uploading your images or images sequences… I will allow the following images upload types (jpeg, jpg, png, gif, tiff, mp4, m4v, mov). Please let me know if you need another file type enabled for some reason.

You will need some help with this as we have no way of actually “saving” the images out of our drawing app at the moment. I have posted a tutorial too assist with this below. The process for “saving” is the same whether you are using Scratch or Hopscotch.

WSDCodeCHWK4Prep from Keith Strachan on Vimeo.

How to get Screenshots from an iPad
Getting Screenshots from an iPad

FINALLY, SURVEY SAYS???

I would also appreciate if the teachers participating in the challenge please complete this survey to give me a sense of what’s working and where to go next…

Have a great Break!!!

WSD Coding Challenge Week 3 Solutions – Drawing App

This week I am going to show you how to search for my code examples in Hopscotch and essentially download them to your iPad so that you can explore my code easily.

WSDCodeCHWK3Solution from Keith Strachan on Vimeo.


I have uploaded the Scratch project to the MIT site and have embedded it here for your convenience to have a look at.

WSD Coding Challenge Week 2 Solutions – Drawing App

I am a little late getting this posted. Little internet trouble on my end, so apologies.

Here is a link the HopScotch file. You will need to download it on the iPad to view the code.

HopScotch Drawing App
HopScotch Drawing App

I have uploaded the Scratch project to the MIT site and have embedded it here for your convenience to have a look at.

WSD Coding Challenge Week 2 – Drawing App

It’s time to set up week two’s coding challenge. You are going to need a little help getting started on this one! We need to set up some colour selection tools in our drawing app. But adding colour selection can be challenging and there are many ways to accomplish this task.

In this video, I go through one way of getting this task started in Hopscotch. The video will broach two new ideas: VARIABLES – or in Hopscotch parlance VALUES and colour number codes….

Variables or values are critically important to computer programs. They allow values to be stored temporarily for use later on. I have provided an example below where I compare a mailbox & mail to a variable & information that a computer program might use.

Variables Explained from Keith Strachan on Vimeo.

I have provided a couple of other links to help you understand variables and how to create them in Hopscotch as well:


This weeks Challenge:

Your job this week is to create a colour palette for your drawing app in either HOPSCOTCH or SCRATCH. You will need some support getting this started. Here’s a video to help with this…

WSDCodeCHWK2Prep from Keith Strachan on Vimeo.

The following image shows how Hopscotch indexes it’s colour palette. This will help you reference colours by number in the drawing program:

Hopscotch Colour Palette Index
Hopscotch Colour Palette Index

For the Scratch coders among us, I have provided some resources as well. The little Scratch program below will help the people using Scratch determine the colour “code” or number to assign to the set pen colour to code block. _set pen colour to_ code block

 

I am also going to show you three ways you might tackle “passing” the colour to the paint brush. One of them uses an external device called a PICO board! We’ll cover setting and sending or “passing” variables too! Once you have viewed the, getting started tutorial, your challenge will be to create a colour palette for your drawing app that contains at least 6 colours as well as black and white.** You might want to add a clear button and a size slider of some sort as well. Get creative in terms of your colour set up.

WSDCodeCHWK2PrepScratch from Keith Strachan on Vimeo.

Have fun and contact me if you need help.