Tinker, Maker, Solder, Pi – Research & Play Week 2

In the ten short days since receiving their Inventors’ Kit boxes, our teachers in Hull have been sending in first drafts, schemes, ideas, and definite no-no’s from their initial Research and Play projects.


Tinkering through Invention

They’ve also started to get feedback from colleagues and students back in school.  Sounds like there’ll be one SLT meeting going totally interactive with a KS3 raising attainment planning session, and anecdotes from others about enthusiasm and imaginative ideas coming from both peers and students alike.

How and where have they been tinkering?

  • One school decided to record questions from the existing ‘picture of the week’ display board and build on that current resource to show colleagues the impact and simplicity of the kit.  That image of Rio de Janeiro launched collaborative planning and there’s an extended list of cross-curricular projects for the Summer term.

Carnival time in Rio

  • Design & Technology with Healthy Eating – Pupils creating a collage showing either a food pyramid or ‘eat well’ plate and recording their voices to explain what each food group is and why it is essential, etc.
  • Cross-phase projects with partner primary schools – a computer science cross-transition project with Y 5 and Y6 children looking to creatively developing digital literacy.
  • Transition projects, with interactive location maps of the new secondary school environment, are a popular choice amongst our schools!
  • A whole school, cross-curricular project aimed at improving attainment at KS3 and demonstrating the inclusive and fun nature of computer science for all.
  • Computing with Design – A prototype Talking Mr T
Mr T

A prototype Mr T

  • History with Incredible Inventions – Pupils collaborating to design and create a timeline display with their invention of choice.  They’ll then design a picture on the timeline and save an audio recording to explain what and how they have researched this.
  • Design & Technology with Transport/Inventions – Pupils will design and construct a vehicle of their own (not using the board) and then work together to use the board to add sound/light effects to a class vehicle model.
  • Geography with volcanoes – A teaching centric project to record and animate onto a 3D object. This time it’ll be a volcano which opens up to show cross-section.
  • Introducing Ourselves – A group of sixth form students will be exploring the use of electric paint to create a display board about themselves in one of our special schools.
  • Art with Geography and landscapes – Building on the clay models of Great Britain that the pupils created last year, we’ll use the Touchboard to record key locations.  Pupils will then decide and select the most important parts of the project areas and it will be their voices again on the audio.  With a change of code, this’ll be the project to use with a proximity sensor.
  • A step further with enterprise board game activities currently enjoyed in school.

Next steps?

Projects are still developing as each school explores through computational thinking and across many parts of the curriculum. We’ll continue to build on that network of collaboration across the city, particularly as other school request to join us.

Some teachers have definite development requests to extend their knowledge through physical computing and will look towards projects using Raspberry Pi and Arduino – with or without a robot, and wearable or standalone tech inventions!  Others have expressed an interest to apply for one of the weather station projects from the Raspberry Pi Team.

For others, this introduction into creative computing across the curriculum has opened up so many possibilities:

  • A birdbox project with Raspberry Pi camera module
  • More cause & effect activities using the paint and Dot Board with Raspberry Pi
  • Game-making activities through Scratch across the curriculum
  • Ideas to develop parental engagement through computing.
  • Changing the code on the Touchboard to look at the effects of the proximity sensor and midi keyboard options.

That’s the start of the beginning of some plans to build and develop.

There’ll be other projects this term, but for now watch this space.  And shout with any questions 🙂