Crumble Creations Continued…

SO! The first of the current Year 6 primary computing projects is complete…

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you the Silent Alarm Scanner Bot (name to be confirmed…). As you can see, this is a plain and simple little robot that has been packed with 2 LEDs, a distance sensor, a motor and of course a Crumble micro-controller.

However, what it lacks in paint and decoration, it makes up for in functionality; this little bot slowly rotates, scanning the immediate environment. When its sensor detects something nearby, it stops rotating and ‘points’ straight at the object, while flashing it’s blue and red lights.

Simple, yet very effective. Designed, built and programmed by two eleven year olds. Remarkable!

Physical Computing

 

Primary Computing Rocks! Really enjoying creating circuits with my Year 6 class using Redfern’s Crumble micro-controller… today we managed to use a distance sensor to control LEDs, servos and motors, ready to start building robots next week!

 

Book Review: Crumble Creations by Phil Bagge

primary computing crumble
Two Phils are better than one…

I had the pleasure of receiving Phil Bagge’s new book: Crumble Creations this week and it is goooooood!

Having recently purchased Redfern Electronic’s Crumble micro controllers for my current school and introduced physical computing, I can totally recommend this book as the perfect starting place. It’s packed with detailed explanation and introduction to the crumble and its many components (old and new editions), plus a wealth of photocopiable lesson plans, worksheets, templates as well as photographs and wiring diagrams.

Phil captures pupils’ imagination through the book’s projects by invoking exploration and investigation; giving just enough away to scaffold their learning, whilst challenging pupils to find creative ways to problem solve. Examples of code (including the notorious servo block issues!) are included for teachers. He does not provide code for children to simply copy, but instead reveals on challenge cards/ worksheets parts of code for pupils to complete, building on their existing coding knowledge.

One of Phil’s strengths is his pseudo code ideas; encouraging learning through role play to consolidate further the importance of computational thinking. There are some great photocopiable pages of pseudo code ideas; one of the many resources in this book that teachers can literally pick up and run with straight away.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any primary teacher, even if you don’t yet have the equipment in school yet!

Anyone for crumble?

FE267EBD-8ADC-42D6-B8EC-52C0037B611B.jpegI’m teaching my year 6 class physical computing with a brand new set of crumble micro controller (Redfern electronics).

We’ve also bought for each crumble set: 2 motors, 1 servo, 2 LEDs, a switch and a distance sensor. The class are currently in the process of playing, exploring and planning (I like to sometimes try all these processes at once), with the aim of creating a moving model using each component to bring it to life.

We came across an interesting problem with the coding to control the servos however; you can’t use a servo control block on its own. It simply won’t do anything. You have to add a piece of code directly after it, for example a ‘wait’, for it to function. I’ve let Redfern know they need to add this piece of vital information to their help guide!

More on these projects later….

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