jdot
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:58 pm

Overwhelmed with kits and resources...

Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:01 pm

Looking for a good hands on project that can get the kids interested in Raspberry Pi. Right now my students don't quite understand the concept. If I get some of my advanced students a kit and let them build a project it will attract the others for next year. Do you have suggestions on a kit and possible resources?

B.Goode
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Location: UK

Re: Overwhelmed with kits and resources...

Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:57 pm

Welcome to the Raspberry Pi forums.

Sincerely.

Because I get the impression that my 'pragmatic' approach to trying to resolve issues is sometimes seen as discouraging. Which is a shame, because as a STEM Ambassador I have volunteered time in schools trying to enthuse and give confidence to students and teachers.

So, what is "the concept" that you want your students to 'get'?

What do you want a kit and resources to accomplish? Because if you are already overwhelmed with choice, randomly adding further options can surely only make things worse?

An RPi is a fully-fledged microcomputer capable of running a multi-user time-sharing Operating System. It comes with a set of 26 program-controlled interface pins, referred to as gpio. These allow you to connect a range of add-ons and sensors.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation have a catch-phrase: "What do you want your button to do?"

How can we help?

B.Goode
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Location: UK

Re: Overwhelmed with kits and resources...

Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:23 pm

And some actual practical suggestions:

The Raspberry Pi Foundation have a vast range of RPi-related projects here:
https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/

There is a Teacher's Guide here:
https://www.raspberrypi.org/learning/teachers-guide/

There are Schemes of Work here:
https://www.raspberrypi.org/resources/teach/


For kits. The 3 CamJam EduKits look like amazing value and come with full (and regularly maintained) worksheets. The inventors behind these kits are contributing members of these forums:

http://camjam.me/?page_id=618

jdot
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:58 pm

Re: Overwhelmed with kits and resources...

Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:22 pm

My goal for the Pi is to give the students hands-on projects that create excitement and interest. I'd like to take this in three directions eventually I believe; robotics, circuitry, and programming.

Forris
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Re: Overwhelmed with kits and resources...

Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:36 pm

Ok, let's start from the beginning.

What age are your students?

What coding language do you plan to use?

Are you working to a budget?

What equipment do you have already?

There are loads of resources to achieve want you want, but if we can get some idea of the above, it will be easier to point you in the right direction.

:-)

jdot
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:58 pm

Re: Overwhelmed with kits and resources...

Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:45 pm

Forris wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:36 pm
Ok, let's start from the beginning.

What age are your students?

What coding language do you plan to use?

Are you working to a budget?

What equipment do you have already?

There are loads of resources to achieve want you want, but if we can get some idea of the above, it will be easier to point you in the right direction.

:-)

6-8th grade. 12-14.

Haven't picked a language. Figured Javascript or Python, but I have no real basis for this.

Budget I have three Raspi's currently, one computer lab with 27 windows PCs, one 55inch TV. I have funds I can spend on educational projects, but I need evaluate the gains to gauge how much I'd be willing to spend. I can raise funds by other means as well.

Forris
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Re: Overwhelmed with kits and resources...

Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:25 pm

Three Pi's is good enough to be able to do something interesting. As B.Goode says, definitely check out the resources, especially the Physical Computing stuff.

The RPF have also published a Digital Making Curriculum, which may be worth a read through for some inspiration.https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/digita ... urriculum/

If you are able to run some VNC Viewer software (like RealVNC, which is free and works well with the Pi) then you could build robots with your Pi's and 'set them free', coding/controlling them remotely from the PC.

Have a look in your local area (I'm assuming you're in the US?) for Raspberry Jams. These are get-togethers where you can go along and have a go at some Pi-related stuff, ask questions, get help and ideas. Also, if there is a Picademy (RPF's free CPD course for Digital Making) near you anytime, get on it!

I would imagine that for your target audience, then project or challenge-based working would be the way to go; something they can really get their teeth into from concept to completion.

I run computer clubs in a UK primary school and over the last couple of years, some of the projects that our kids (aged 8-11) have done are;

Various robots - hacking old educational bots, or old toys, or building from scratch. Using various control methods, such as VNC, bluetooth controller,
custom gui interface;
Interactive displays - using neopixels to represent traffic flow at a traffic-light-controlled junction, or for a Cycle Training display which highlights
the hazards for particular manoeuvres;
Smart Home - controlling heating and lighting with a tablet-based interface, or switching lights off automatically using sensors to detect human
presence;

I hope these will give you some ideas.

If you're looking at Python and the kids are new to it, you may like to have a look at Edublocks.org. This is a Scratch-like Python editor, developed (by a 12-year-old) to help students make the transition from block-based languages to text-based. It is downloadable for the Pi and incorporates some great libraries for Digital Making, including gpiozero, Minecraft, and Sonic Pi.

Finally, don't feel like the Pi is the only option. The BBC Microbit, which is currently on a mission to take of the world, is a fabulous microcontroller which is packed with sensors, inputs, and outputs, and can be programmed in Python, Javascript, and hopefully Scratch when Scratch 3.0 is released.

I hope some of that has helped. Let me know if you need any other info.

Have fun!

Darren.

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bensimmo
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Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Overwhelmed with kits and resources...

Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:55 pm

Just for the information, in the UK we would call that age range KS3 (Key Stage3) and would be our years 7, 8, 9 (1st to 3rd year of Senior/Secondary School.)
Just if you see it mentioned in any UK documents.

Also in the UK with have STEM.org https://www.stem.org.uk which holds many new things along with many of our old educational books (yes way back to the BBC Micro and before) for STEM subjects.
Worth a look through for possible ideas.

But really it's didn't what interests them (and you, as it makes it easier).
Or fun, like triggering something funny if another child walks past.

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bensimmo
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Re: Overwhelmed with kits and resources...

Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:58 pm

Oh and now you have even more kits and resources :-D
Sorry ...

But the CamJam kits mentioned look good and GPIOZero (easy to program in python) and BlueDot (control it from your phone) should work with them.

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