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Re: Looking for Curriculum Ideas, Please help.

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:28 pm
by campsec
I'm planning to offer my first R-Pi club starting in April but I need to write the Curriculum now. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. No ideas are unwelcome. I think my first group with be 11 yr olds. I want them to know everything from the ground up so they can re-write their SD cards and everything. Kids now-a-days seem to expect instant gratification however so I need to plan each class with that 'This is so cool' event to keep them coming back and getting into the thick of things. I mean just getting an image on the screen will be the first cool moment but I need one for each week to plan the lessons around. So if you can give me a few ideas that would be great. I have worked with these kids before doing the language scratch. I want to teach them shell and python. I think I'm going to make it project based where we work on a wide range of projects. Some of my examples:
1) remote spy cam to a web server.
2) robotics
3) Building their own case
4) remote monitoring project (temperature, events, etc)
5) Maybe a mesh application
6) Gert board projects
7) Remote nerf turret gun
8) Cool clock project
9) Interactive Animal

Just a few of my ideas. Each 'Class' would be based on a project idea. Some of these are multi-week with a lot of possibility of everyone doing a variation of the theme. I would love to here suggestions from everyone else so I can pick the best ideas for my first go around.

Re: Looking for Curriculum Ideas, Please help.

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:24 pm
by abishur
What level of experience are you expecting the kids to bring to the table?

Re: Looking for Curriculum Ideas, Please help.

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:52 pm
by scep
Computing at School* are writing a user guide for the RasPi and this will be available by April. It will include a section on programming in Python so you may be able to use this . It will be targeted at school age kids. There will be projects in there, nothing definite yet but I think that the project based club will be the way to go and you have some good ideas there already. I'll be running a similar club myself so will give this some thought (Ok, I'll be pinching some of your ideas :)).

The VERY first thing I would do with them is to get them to personalise their Pi - name on the start screen, welcome message, set up icons like you would do with a phone etc - make it their personal machine.

*Disclaimer: I'm a member of CAS and helping write the guide

Re: Looking for Curriculum Ideas, Please help.

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:55 pm
by campsec
Quote from abishur on December 16, 2011, 18:24
What level of experience are you expecting the kids to bring to the table?

Thanks for the reply abishur. These kids will be very PC literate, all windows though. Most either have their own PC at home or have access to one. All have high-speed internet. Most have cell phones. I know some of my kids have dabbled with Python only a few though. Pretty much none of them have any Linux experience which is where I come in. Actually many have some experience with robotics and electronics via science clubs. I think the real world events part of things will keep kids interested. Getting that first LED to blink or reading a sensor and getting something that looks like a temperature can be pretty exciting.

Re: Looking for Curriculum Ideas, Please help.

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:02 pm
by Warringer
Another thing.

How old will the kids be?

Re: Looking for Curriculum Ideas, Please help.

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:09 pm
by campsec
Quote from Warringer on December 16, 2011, 21:02
Another thing.

How old will the kids be?

I was thinking of targeting 11 yr olds and see how is goes with them. I am in a position to setup a 'class/club' with ages about 9-14. Based on how that goes I'll expand and go up and down in the age range depending on class experience.

Re: Looking for Curriculum Ideas, Please help.

Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:04 pm
by abishur
hmm... a linux primer might be a good spot to start then. And just the bash prompt at that. I know that can be intimidating, and I'm definitely just talking off the top of my head here, but there are few things as powerful as the linux bash prompt and letting them see some of the immediately useful things you can do from bash could be a good lesson (like having them flash an LED from bash, or showing how you can "hack" into an android phone or even a kindle!)

Re: Looking for Curriculum Ideas, Please help.

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:13 pm
by MattWasp
The Nerf gun turret is a genius idea!

My eight year old got a Maplin USB robot arm for Christmas that was fun to build and would make a great base for this - I think they're about £30.  When I saw your suggestion I had a quick look at making it work under linux - and found this http://www.aonsquared.co.uk/ro.....tutorial_1 which adds vocie recognition too

Re: Looking for Curriculum Ideas, Please help.

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:21 pm
by andyl
Abishur said:


hmm... a linux primer might be a good spot to start then. And just the bash prompt at that. I know that can be intimidating, and I"m definitely just talking off the top of my head here, but there are few things as powerful as the linux bash prompt and letting them see some of the immediately useful things you can do from bash could be a good lesson (like having them flash an LED from bash, or showing how you can "hack" into an android phone or even a kindle!)


A lot of people underestimate what can be done from using the standard unix tools and text files.  Pipelines and filters are a very powerful concept.