rsbrowndog
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:45 am

Pi-Themed Summer Computing Club

Thu May 25, 2017 9:57 am

I'm planning on running a 2 day computing club for our year 4 and year 5 (soon to be year 5 and year 6) children at the start of the summer break. I thought it would be brilliant to purchase Pi Zero Ws for all attendees, use them for the 2 days and then let them take them home with them when we've finished. The cost of the Pis (and the SD card, case, etc.) will be accounted for in the price they pay to attend and hopefully they will be suitably inspired by what we've done to get them up and running at home and carry on using them.

I'm looking for suggestions for content to fill the two days. I'm currently thinking:
- General introduction to their new computer, how to use it and what it can do
- Minecraft (as a "free play" unguided session, probably used as a quick bit of "down time" between some of the other sessions)
- Scratch programming
- Hacking Minecraft with Python
- Other (free) games, e.g. FreeCiv, OpenTTD... suggestions? Done as a tutorial in getting them set up and working then having time to play as a reward

Apart from using it with Minecraft I am reluctant to get too into Python as I think it would be a bit much for children that have only ever coded in Scratch. (Besides, we do a lot of Python in Year 6 so I don't want to jump the gun too much!) I'm also reluctant to go down the Sonic Pi route as I anticipate going from computer to computer correcting typos for hours rather than getting them to make music!

Any other ideas?

I'll send them home with some notes to help them get connected to their home WiFi and TV at home, so wasn't planning to cover that in the two days.

Thanks!

BMS Doug
Posts: 3824
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:42 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Pi-Themed Summer Computing Club

Thu May 25, 2017 10:47 am

Largest Concern: Can you get hold of the Pi Zero W's?

How will they be connecting to the Pi? Monitor keyboard and mouse? (1 microUSB port!)


Physical Computing:
Some of the best bits of raspberry Pi involve physical computing, which makes a hammer header for each pi zero a good idea (£2 each for males, £3 each for females, £6 for 1 male + 1 female + Jig). I would fit female headers to the Pi zero's (Because then you can easily attach jumper wires).
Mini-solderless breadboards are pretty cheap, a bulk pack of LEDs, buttons and resistors and you are away.
Doug.
Building Management Systems Engineer.

rsbrowndog
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:45 am

Re: Pi-Themed Summer Computing Club

Thu May 25, 2017 11:32 am

BMS Doug wrote:Largest Concern: Can you get hold of the Pi Zero W's?
Pimoroni show as having them in stock. I would need 10, so hopefully they have sufficient supplies.
How will they be connecting to the Pi? Monitor keyboard and mouse? (1 microUSB port!)
HDMI mini to full HDMI adapter and then a HDMI to VGA converter to a LCD monitor. I have the same set up at home. Ditto using an AmazonBasics USB hub to give me enough USB ports for a mouse and keyboard, plus a USB drive if required. Children would get to keep the USB hub, but not the mouse/keyboard or the HDMI to VGA, although I will probably throw in a HDMI lead and they will also get the micro USB to USB and mini HDMI to HDMI adapters.
Physical Computing:
Some of the best bits of raspberry Pi involve physical computing, which makes a hammer header for each pi zero a good idea (£2 each for males, £3 each for females, £6 for 1 male + 1 female + Jig). I would fit female headers to the Pi zero's (Because then you can easily attach jumper wires).
Mini-solderless breadboards are pretty cheap, a bulk pack of LEDs, buttons and resistors and you are away.
To be honest I don't want to get into physical computing with them. I'm sure there is plenty I can do with a "traditional" computer setup. Don't forget this is the iPad generation, so many of them might not even have access to a computer at home, so this will be a good opportunity to learn how to use a "proper" computer and hopefully by giving out the Pis to take home (rather than just details of where they can purchase their own) they will continue to use them.

Just wondering if anyone has any great ideas for projects!

BMS Doug
Posts: 3824
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:42 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Pi-Themed Summer Computing Club

Thu May 25, 2017 11:49 am

rsbrowndog wrote:
BMS Doug wrote:Largest Concern: Can you get hold of the Pi Zero W's?
Pimoroni show as having them in stock. I would need 10, so hopefully they have sufficient supplies.
but still limited to 1 / customer...
rsbrowndog wrote:
How will they be connecting to the Pi? Monitor keyboard and mouse? (1 microUSB port!)
HDMI mini to full HDMI adapter and then a HDMI to VGA converter to a LCD monitor. I have the same set up at home. Ditto using an AmazonBasics USB hub to give me enough USB ports for a mouse and keyboard, plus a USB drive if required. Children would get to keep the USB hub, but not the mouse/keyboard or the HDMI to VGA, although I will probably throw in a HDMI lead and they will also get the micro USB to USB and mini HDMI to HDMI adapters.
Seems fair.
rsbrowndog wrote:
Physical Computing:
Some of the best bits of raspberry Pi involve physical computing, which makes a hammer header for each pi zero a good idea (£2 each for males, £3 each for females, £6 for 1 male + 1 female + Jig). I would fit female headers to the Pi zero's (Because then you can easily attach jumper wires).
Mini-solderless breadboards are pretty cheap, a bulk pack of LEDs, buttons and resistors and you are away.
To be honest I don't want to get into physical computing with them. I'm sure there is plenty I can do with a "traditional" computer setup. Don't forget this is the iPad generation, so many of them might not even have access to a computer at home, so this will be a good opportunity to learn how to use a "proper" computer and hopefully by giving out the Pis to take home (rather than just details of where they can purchase their own) they will continue to use them.
They can always move on to physical computing at a later date anyway.
rsbrowndog wrote:Just wondering if anyone has any great ideas for projects!
with scratch there are many different things that can be done, perhaps best to have a project list that they can choose from?

many 1980's era computer games should be fairly easy to replicate in scratch:
Frogger
Donkey kong
Pac Man
etc.
Doug.
Building Management Systems Engineer.

chinaguy
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun May 10, 2015 5:27 am
Location: Shanghai

Re: Pi-Themed Summer Computing Club

Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:22 am

As a Primary Computer Science Teacher I would recommend 3 games that would be suitable in Scratch.

Flappy Bird, takes me about one hour to get the basic game working another hour for all students to have it working.
Pong, takes about 2-3 hours.
Duck Shoot, takes 1-2 hours.

You can find them

https://www.computingatschool.org.uk/

https://barefootcas.org.uk/

If not you can send me an email address I can send you the instruction, they are open source and use.

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