Alex delivers ICT classes for Year 5 with his two friends – Jasmine & Evadnae.
Hi, my name is Alex and I want to tell you a bit about the micro:bit workshop I ran with 2 of my friends, at school. After looking through Issue 3 (January 2019) of the micro:mag, I saw so many cool projects and decided I would try one out. I used Les Pounder’s excellent micro:bit flood detector system project (p74-75), to make my own using just a few blocks of code, 2 crocodile clips, a container, some water and some slug tape from Poundland. I found it really fun and so decided that I wanted to share this with my friends at school, so they could discover the micro:bit and the amazing things you can do with it too.
The first thing I did was ask two of my friends, Jasmine and Evadnae, who are also passionate about coding if they would be up for running a session together. Then we asked our ICT teacher if could show the other Year 5 students how to use the micro:bit, by running a workshop. Unbelievably, Mr May was just as enthusiastic about it as we were and he actually asked us to run the workshop for all 3 classes in Year 5, so just before half term, we took in the micro:bits and kit so that they could be quarantined, ready for the workshop. I created a PowerPoint with instructions and the three of us got together at half term to run through it a couple of times so that we could be really confident. We wanted to be able to not just get everyone to create the flood detector system but to be able to understand the coding behind it.
On the day, I have to admit I was really nervous but we made a script so we had something to follow. I started with the introduction to the micro:bit, explaining its components and what it does. Then Evadnae got everyone started with the coding, whilst Jasmine and I made sure no one was left behind with their coding. Next, Jasmine talked everybody through the rest of the code, creating a flood alarm and a safe symbol. After that, I reviewed the code and went through line by line what each block did. Jasmine showed everybody how to download their code onto the micro:bit. That took us up to the end of the first session. The second involved, the class connecting up the flood detector components and testing it out. One bonus that came from it was that after explaining how it worked in terms of the water being conductive and completing a circuit, everyone then enjoyed testing to see what other things in the room were conductive. Mr May said this was excellent because later in the year we will learning about currents and electricity. In assembly, we received a ‘Deputy Headmaster’s award for “being a fantastic leader in the classroom to support the learning of others”. We are so proud!
I’d really like to thank Les Pounder for creating such an awesome project and also the micro:mag team for producing an amazing resource, full of the latest micro:bit gadgets and projects - it’s awesome! I’d also like to thank Mr May for giving us such a great opportunity to share our passion with other kids and we got really great feedback from our classmates. We are looking forward to developing another project that we can share with other young people, maybe at MozFest or micro:bit Live.
Quote from Mr May
“When Alex, Evadnae and Jasmine came to speak to me about their interest in the micro:bit, I was keen
to get them to share their passion with the class. It was perfect timing with our upcoming Computer
Science unit in ICT and I thought the children could introduce the rest of the year group to the micro:bit and how to create code. It was wonderful to see them deliver their lesson to the class and to see how their classmates were engaged and excited by the micro:bit. I could not be more proud of Alex, Evadnae and Jasmine and I will be sure to draw on all three of their expertise in the coming lessons!”