Students in Year 5 have begun to learn coding skills using PYTHON, a programming language, to control Raspberry Pi computers. The Pi can be used to control bolt on hardware such as cameras, motors and lights. Because the pi is light and portable, it has found a dedicated following amongst robotics enthusiasts.
As part of their Space topic, the children have been challenged to construct a robot for use on the moon. Working in agile development groups, the children first worked collaboratively to complete the basic build phase of their rovers. Next, they wired their Pi computers to the motors, chassis and output devices. Finally, this week, we have added extra features and written PYTHON code to control the robots remotely via a wireless keyboard.
STEAM projects such as these give our students the chance to design, build and experiment before applying their Python knowledge to a real-world application. Many of the students have continued to work on their projects outside school, directing their own learning and developing their sense of responsibility.
Some quotes from students:
We found the wiring challenging but it was all worth it – Henry
We had many problems to overcome. The wheels kept falling off but when it finally worked on the ground we felt relieved and proud. (It's actually just come off again. Time to go and fix it.) – Christen
We enjoyed wiring the robot. – Amina
We had difficulty coding the LED for the siren on our medibot. – Nazme
We found it really fun. We had a clicking sound when the motors ran and it was really hard to make it stop but we did it in the end. – Devishi
It was really difficult to fix the LEDs securely. – Tia