We have recovered the data from the weather balloons that were launched as part of Sidmouth Science Festival last month. We have returned the data to students as Sidmouth College so that they can complete the project by making a presentation that will be delivered to the primary school.
The Sidmouth Science Festival Balloon launch was funded by kind donation of the SVA Keith Owen Fund.
The weekend of 6th – 8th of October saw a brand new festival in Exeter called the Lost Weekend. It was billed as ‘A 3-day festival for Exeter of music, art, ideas and technology. To showcase what is new and exciting, to imagine the future and to enjoy being creative.’
On Monday 23rd October we will be at Exeter Phoenix running a series of coding with minecraft sessions.
CODING FOR MINECRAFT
Experience coding Minecraft on a Raspberry Pi computer! In the hour and a half session for 9 – 14 years, you’ll learn how to use the Python language to control and build your Minecraft world.
‘From simple buildings to massive structures, you’ll be creating things with a few simple lines of code that would take days to build normally. Your world will be networked so everyone can participate in the same game and see what other people are doing, you’ll also be able to play Minecraft using a dance mat and control a real robot arm from inside Minecraft.
The sessions involved connecting an ultrasonic distance senor to a Raspberry Pi, coding a bit of Scratch and making a paper cow. When all this was put together the end result was a cow whose bells jangled as you got near to it and when you go too near it mooed.
Over the past couple of weeks we have run two robot building sessions. The first was at the Red Brick Building in Glastonbury:
The Red Brick Building Ltd is an innovative community-owned social enterprise based in the former Morlands Factory situated between Glastonbury and Street in Somerset.
In the last six years we have raised close to £1 million locally and through grants and have transformed two of the three derelict buildings into a vibrant community space for all ages.
The second session was at Exeter Phoenix, the outline for the day long course is for the participants to build from scratch a two wheeled object avoiding robot.
We set a number of challenges along the way, the first is to get the robot to go forward in a straight line. We then set the challenge of designing and building (out of card, tape and white tack) a ball pushing device to fit the front of the robot. We are always surprised by the inventiveness and variety of designs that come out of these sessions (some more practical than others).
The challenge is then to push a ball in a (relatively) straight line for a certain distance:
Finally we add an ultrasonic sensor so that the robot can avoid bumping into objects – if time we also add leds and buzzers:
Participants often choose to decorate and embellish their robots:
Some of the feedback we’ve received:
Thank you for organising the robot day yesterday. My son really enjoyed it and said that it was “fun”. It is always difficult to find something that appeals to young teens around this area so I was really happy to discover that this was going on at the Red Brick Building. I really hope that you visit this area again.
A*** and his friend J**** really enjoyed the day – in fact J****’s now planning a career in robotics!
I thought the day was really well organised and it looked like they all had a great time.
We’re looking forward to teaming up with Code Club and attending the Big Bang Fair at Exeter University on Wednesday 21st June. We’ll be taking lots of demos and bits of kit to play with. Should be a great day!
On Thursday 27th July we will be taking our robot building day to a new location – the Red Brick Building in Glastonbury. This will be a day long course following the same structure as our recent event at the Engine Room, Bridgwater which you can read about by following this link.