Physical Computing Activities with Scratch

Date:     Wednesday 28th September 2016
Time:     18:30 – Refereshments from 6:30pm for a 7pm start
Speaker:     Margaret Low and Warwick Technology Volunteers
Location:     International Manufacturing Centre Auditorium, University of Warwick  (IMC, Central campus – Maps)
BCS Meetings are free to attend.

Abstract:

How can children write Scratch programs to interact with the real world? Physical computing activities are educational and can be addictive.  Its a great way of introducing children to software development.  There are many cheap routes to achieving this, we’ll describe two in this session, one uses an add on Arduino board, and the other uses the Adafruit Feather Huzzah (ESP8266 based).

When MIT provided the ScratchX platform it became possible to use a wide range of physical devices with the Scratch programming language.  The Technology Volunteers (www.warwick.ac.uk/techvolunteers) have had a busy and successful year running Scratch and Arduino sessions in local schools.  In addition they’ve found the time to design a new board to support physical computing, create sets of science-based resources that have been presented at the Scratch@MIT 2016 Conference and setup the Coventry Coderdojo at Coventry Transport Museum.  This presentation will share the latest work of the volunteers exploring ScratchX:

  • The new ExperiSense board makes scientific experimentation possible and links the world of Arduino and Scratch, enabling new physical computing activities to be done simply.  (www.warwick.ac.uk/scratchresources)
  • The Tiles for Tales project gives a creative context to blinking LEDs, linking the idea of digital literacy to story telling activities.  It is based around the capabilities of the ESP8266, enabling wireless communications from ScratchX. (www.warwick.ac.uk/tilesfortales)

Useful links:

ScratchX www.ScratchX.org
Warwick Technology Volunteers www.warwick.ac.uk/techvolunteers
Coventry Coderdojo www.warwick.ac.uk/coderdojo
Scratch Resources www.warwick.ac.uk/scratchresources
Tiles for Tales www.warwick.ac.uk/tilesfortales

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