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☰ OK Computer

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OK Computer

Posted on March 27 2018

OK Computer

Last week, a group of Year 5 children took part in a fantastic computing event at Park Road Primary (Sale), hosted by CAS Manchester - the ‘Computing at School’ regional centre (a joint initiative between The University of Manchester and Edge Hill University).

Approximately 60 children, from 10 different schools, were introduced to Crumble: a programmable controller capable of running LEDs and motors. Our CAS instructor guided us through the basics of the block-based coding software and set us off on a challenge: build something that required the use of motors and flashing lights, which the Crumble could run. This could be a night-light, a windmill, a lighthouse or a vehicle.

Determined to take part in the vehicle race at the end of the event, our team quickly made the decision to build two cars! First, they had to learn how to power the controller and motors. Fortunately, the fantastic venue hosts – the teachers of Park Road Primary (Sale) – had laid out everything we would need. After some trial and error, logic and experimentation our circuit was soon up and running, with the controller at its heart. Next, the team had to use the coding software to program the Crumble’s motors… Finally, the actual vehicle housing had to be built! Several cardboard boxes, tubes, egg boxes, rubber wheels, enough crocodile-clip wires to power the National Grid, and vast amounts of Sellotape later… and our two Blue Peter-inspired creations were ready to go!

Both of our cars did us proud, and one of them crossed the finish line first to win the race! Lots of fantastic learning took place and we really enjoyed using our problem-solving skills to resolve issues like… the car spinning in a circle like a dog chasing its tail (tip: code both wheels to rotate in the same direction!). Mrs Hewitt was particularly proud of the resilience shown by the team when their first coding attempts required some tweaking; their Forest Park ‘I can and I will’ attitude really paid off!

Click here to see some photographs of our day.

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