Scouts land in the Fubra Universe

Scout groups pop up regularly on the Raspberry Pi blog. The special mix of enthusiastic young people, talented leaders and technology makes for brilliant projects that really sum up why the Raspberry Pi was created. The 2nd Aldershot Scout Group’s project is particularly splendid: roving robots, chicken wire, papier mache, programming, Raspberry Pis and more. It doesn’t get much better than that— we love it!

Hannah Bird of Fubra tells us what they’ve been up to:

On Monday 26th November the 2nd Aldershot Scout group landed in the Fubra Ltd offices to launch stage 2 of the Fubra Universe project.

The Fubra Universe project is a scheme set up by Fubra Ltd to introduce children to programming.  Once the children have learnt basic programming on a Raspberry Pi workstation then they will be able to program a mini Mars Rover around a Mars terrain that the children created.  The project has started with the 2nd Aldershot Scouts as it helps them achieve their IT badge.  If it is a success then it may be rolled out nationally.

During the first stage of the Fubra Universe project the team set up 10 Raspberry Pi workstations for the Scouts to use for their annual Jamboree on the Internet.  This event introduced the Scouts to Raspberry Pis and the workstations they will be using to program the mini Mars Rover in the new year.

Workstations ready for setup

This week’s second stage got the children working on the Raspberry Pi workstations again but this time to learn some programming.  Using Scratch the children made a cartoon version Psy (the man behind the most memorable song in the world right now) dance to his song Gangnam Style.  A few of the whiz kids sped through the course and made some cheeky amendments to the program, making Psy a sniper’s target for shooting practice!

Programming in Scratch

While half of the Scout group worked on destroying a poor old cartoon version of Psy, the other half got their hands dirty creating a Mars terrain.  They created the terrain out of MDF, chicken wire, boxes, newspaper and papier mache.  In the new year, once the children have learnt more about programming, they will be able to program a mini Mars Rover and navigate the robot over the terrain they created.

It was a particularly messy evening creating the terrain but the children (and supervising adults) seemed to love an excuse to get their hands dirty throwing glue and paper over the terrain.  They also got into creating some lumps and bumps in the terrain to make it more realistic.  Since the event the Scout leaders said they got some great feedback from the parents of the Scouts, many of whom told them their children could not stop talking about the project.

Making a Mars-scape from chicken wire and papier mache

This coming Monday stage 3 of the project will be initiated; painting the Mars terrain with sand and spray paint and starting the children on a Codecademy course.  Follow @FubraUniverse to keep up to date with the project.

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