Tag Archives: Projects

Say “aye” to Code Club in Scotland

via Raspberry Pi

Since joining the Raspberry Pi Foundation as a Code Club Community Manager for Scotland earlier this year, I have seen first-hand the passion, dedication, and commitment of the Scottish community to support the digital, personal, and social skills of young people.

A group of smiling children hold up large cardboard Code Club logos.

Code Club launched in schools in 2012 to give opportunities to children to share and develop their love of coding through free after-school clubs. Now we have clubs across the world connecting learners in having fun with digital technologies. 

Meeting Scotland’s inspiring Code Club community

One of my first visits was to St. Mark’s Primary School in East Renfrewshire, where I met an amazing Code Club leader called Ashley Guy. Ashley only got involved in Code Club this year, but has already launched three clubs at her school!

St Mark's Primary celebrate Code Club's tenth birthday.

I went to visit her Primary 2 and 3’s club, where the children were working on creating animations in Scratch to celebrate Code Club’s tenth birthday. It was a real joy to see the young children so engaged with our projects. The young coders worked both independently and together to create their own animations.

One of the girls I spoke to made a small error while coding her project, but she smiled and said, “I made a mistake, but that’s okay because that’s how we learn!” She showed just the kind of positive, problem-solving mindset that Code Club helps to cultivate.

Another school doing something incredible at their Code Club, led by Primary 7 teacher Fiona Lindsay, is Hillside School in Aberdeenshire. I love seeing the fun things they get up to, including celebrating Code Club’s 10th birthday in style with an impressive Code Club cake.

Hillside School's cake to celebrate ten years of Code Club.

Fiona and her club are using the Code Club projects and resources to create their own exciting and challenging games. They’ve taken part in several of our online codealongs, and they also held an event at the school to showcase their great work — which even got the children’s parents coding! 

Some of the young people who attend Code Club at Hillside School sent us videos about their experiences, why they come to Code Club, and what it means to them. Young coder Abisola describes Code Club in one word:

Video transcript

Young coder Crystal said, “We can experiment with what we know and make actual projects… At Code Club we learn about new blocks in Scratch and what blocks and patterns go together to make something.” Here is Crystal sharing her favourite part of Code Club:

Video transcript

Obuma also attends the Code Club at Hillside School. She shared what she gains from attending the sessions and why she thinks other young people should join a Code Club too: 

“At Code Club we improve our teamwork skills, because there’s a lot of people in Code Club and most of the time you work together to create different things… Join [Code Club] 100%. It is so fun. It might not be something everyone would want to try, but if you did try it, then you would enjoy it.”

Obuma, young coder at Hillside School’s Code Club
Two young people at a Code Club.
Crystal and Abisola celebrate ten years of Code Club

Coding with the community 

One of the things I’ve enjoyed most as part of the Code Club team has been running an UK-wide online codealong to celebrate STEM Clubs Week. The theme was outer space, so our ‘Lost in space’ project in Scratch was the ideal fit.

Young people from St Philip Evans Primary School participating in Code Club's 'Lost in space' codealong.

During this practical coding session, classes across Scotland, England, and Wales had great fun coding the project together to animate rockets that move around space. We were thrilled by the feedback from teachers.

“The children really enjoyed the session. They are very proud of their animations and some children went on to extend their programs. All [the] children said they would love to do more codealongs!”

Teacher who took part in an online Code Club codealong
Young people from Oaklands Primary School participating in Code Club's 'Lost in space' codealong.

Thank you to everyone who got involved in the codealong. See you again at the next one.

What Scotland — and everyone in the community — can look forward to in the new term

To help you start your Code Club year with ease and fun, we will be launching new free resources for you and your club members. There’ll be a special pack filled with step-by-step instructions and engaging activities to kickstart your first session back, and a fun sticker chart to help young coders mark their progress. 

We would love to see you at our practical and interactive online workshopTen reasons why coding is fun for everyone’ on Thursday 15 September at 16:00–17:00 BST, which will get you ready for National Coding Week (19–23 September). Come along to the workshop to get useful guidance and tips on how to engage everyone with coding.

The Code Club team.

We will also be holding lots of other exciting activities and sessions throughout the upcoming school term, including for World Space Week (4–10 October), the Moonhack coding challenge in October, and World Hello Day in November. So keep an eye on our Twitter @CodeClubUK for live updates. 

Whether you’re interested in learning more about Code Club in Scotland, you have a specific question, or you just want to say hi, I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me at scotland@codeclub.org, or @CodeClubSco on Twitter. I’ll also be attending the Scottish Education Expo on 21 and 22 September along with other Code Club team members, so come along and say hello.

Get involved in Code Club today

With the new school term approaching, now is a great time to register and start a Code Club at your school. You can find out more on our website, codeclub.org, or contact us directly at support@codeclub.org 

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Share your Arduino projects on EDUvision

via Arduino Blog

We’re on the lookout for the most creative and innovative Arduino projects made by you – our EDUvision viewers!

Each week, we’ll feature the projects we think should be put in the spotlight. If your project is featured, we’ll send you a selection of some super cool Arduino merchandise, such as:

  • Lanyards
  • Water bottles
  • Notebook
  • Hats
  • Beanies
  • Stickers
  • Stationary
Featured Arduino Projects for EDUvision

How to share your Arduino project

All you need to do is shoot a short video (maximum of one minute) of your project, explaining what it’s all about, what it does, and how it works. Because we’re featuring these on the show, and on the Arduino channels, we want you to make your video looks as great as possible.

Here are some tips:

  • Make sure you shoot in landscape (horizontal)
  • You can send in .mp4 or .mov video files
  • A voice over is effective, to help explain your project
  • Make sure the lighting is good
  • Reduce background noise as much as possible

Video files can only be submitted if they’re less than 10MB in size. If yours is bigger, you can upload it to a file sharing service like Dropbox, Google Drive or WeTransfer and put the link into your application form instead. Even then, please keep them to one minute.

You’ll also need a project name and a short written description. Submissions to EDUvision’s featured Arduino projects are open until 24th June, 2021.

The necessary bit: First we need you to read and accept these terms and conditions.

If you’re under 18, you’ll also need to provide permission from a parent or guardian to share your Arduino projects. You can take care of that in the application form.

Finally, you’ll need to be a registered Arduino user to be able to send your project in. It’s totally free to sign up if you aren’t already, and comes with lots of great benefits including being able to participate in the forum and get Arduino news as it happens.

Make sure you join us each week on the EDUvision livestream to see which projects have been featured!

We can’t wait to see what you’ve been building!

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The DIY force is strong with these 10 Arduino Star Wars projects

via Arduino Blog

Hokey religions and ancient weapons might not be a match for a good blaster, but Arduino Star Wars projects certainly are. To celebrate May the 4th (also known as Star Wars Day), we’ve put together a list of inspired builds from a galaxy far, far away that you can make yourself.

Arduino Star Wars Projects

So I Fixed a Broken Hasbro Lightsaber

It’s a rite of passage for every Jedi to build their own lightsaber. That goes for Arduino Jedi, too.

Alan Wang expertly upcycled a broken lightsaber toy by adding a Nano, an MP3 player module and a NeoPixel ring. The result is a Jedi weapon that’s far superior to the original toy.

Star Wars Mouse Droid with Hidden Payload

One of the first droids we meet in Star Wars is a mouse droid. The quirky little bots that zoom about the floor of the Death Star, getting under Stormtrooper’s feet.

They never actually appear to do all that much. But this zippy little droid by PotentPrintables has a hidden LED matrix that lets it deliver messages. And lots of terrible Star Wars puns, of course.

Imperial March on a Toaster

If you’re looking for sci-fi toasters, Red Dwarf is usually the first choice. But this hilarious video from Device Orchestra brings the dark side to your devices.

An Arduino controls the electromagnet in this toaster to turn it into a tuneful buzzer. Accompanied by toothbrushes and a typewriter, we get the immortal Imperial March played by droids.

Mini Arduino Star Wars Shoot ‘Em Up

A game that’s as simple as it is small and cute (like R2!), all run on a Nano on a breadboard.

And just consider how its graphics are comparable to those of the Death Star’s display as it moves into range of Yavin. Talk about human-cyborg relations!

Build a Life-Size BB8 Droid (Phone Controlled)

It was a pretty big deal when it turned out Lucasfilm built an actual droid for Star Wars Episode VII. It would have been easier to make BB8 in CGI. But we’re glad they went the practical route, as the cool ball droid has inspired a lot of makers.

Not least of them being Angelo, who built his very own amazing life-size BB8 using Arduino.

Recreating the Death Star Trench Run Scene with LEGO

As much as Wani Kim’s recreation of the iconic trench run is an incredible feat of LEGO engineering, it wouldn’t be complete without Arduino. The whole diorama is embedded with a galaxy-full of LEDs, bringing the scene to life.

That’s no moon. It’s an Arduino project!

Laser Shooting Game (Star Wars)

As Han told us, there’s no match for having a good blaster at your side. Ismail took that quite literally, and built a Star Wars laser shooting range that lets you take out those pesky Stormtroopers with a homemade blaster.

Arduino-Based Lightsaber with Light and Sound Effects

A great lightsaber build isn’t just about the colorful blade. It’s about the audio combinations, and the lighting effects when the blade makes contact. Bring all these things together, like Mad Gyver did, and you have an elegant weapon, of a more civilized age.

Prank Your Friends with Talking Darth Vader

Perfect for Halloween, as well as Star Wars Day, this motion activated Darth Vader head is just as creepy as its inspiration. It can be programmed with as many voice clips as you like, and wouldn’t it make a great option for a dark side Alexa?

Droid Build D-O

To be honest, D-O didn’t get nearly as much screen time or plot involvement as he deserved. But the latest addition to the growing line-up of Star Wars droids has been lovingly recreated by Matt Denton using a MKR WiFi 1010. No bad motivators here!

We want to hear about your Arduino Star Wars projects, so tell us all about them in the comments. May the force be with you!

The post The DIY force is strong with these 10 Arduino Star Wars projects appeared first on Arduino Blog.

It’s easier than ever to add two-way communication to Arduino devices

via Arduino Blog

There’s a brand new device-to-device communication feature available now in the Arduino IoT Cloud. It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time. So we’re excited to see how it’ll add a whole new connected dimension to your Arduino projects.

Arduino IoT Cloud thing to thing communication

What is “Device-to-Device”? Communication?

Internally we’ve been looking at this feature as “device-to-device” communication. It will allow your Arduino devices to send wireless messages to each other, without writing a single line of code or spending time with radio modules and network protocols.

Using this feature you can link variables of the same data type between two or more cloud-enabled devices. For example, one button could set three smart bulbs to the same color. Or you could turn on a heater when temperature sensors in your room or outside in your weather station drop below a certain level. Being able to sync variables gives you an intelligent way to control multiple devices very easily.

Whether you use an Oplà IoT Kit, a MKR WiFi 1010, a Nano 33 IoT or an (upcoming!) Nano RP2040 Connect, you can configure everything from the web interface. After configuration, any changes you make to variables on one device will be reflected promptly on the other(s). This creates a seamless, powerful and secure two-way communication with almost no effort on your part, and no code required. The Arduino IoT Cloud handles authentication, security, network disruptions and any other tricky parts. 

What Does This Mean For Your Projects and Devices?

It means there are lots of options with thing-to-thing communication (also known as variable synchronization):

  • Collect sensor readings from remote devices.
  • Actuate devices remotely. For instance, pressing a button on one Arduino turns on an LED or motor on another.
  • Create a distributed algorithm where multiple devices collaborate with each other.

Are you thinking about home automation? Interactive installations? Monitoring and controlling machines from a wireless panel? This powerful new feature makes all those things easy to achieve for makers of all abilities.

Arduino Cloud thing to thing dashboard.

Combined with IoT Cloud’s dashboards this delivers a powerful new way to build incredible automations with minimal (if any) changes. Furthermore, it gives you smartphone control of your connected boards via the existing Arduino IoT Remote iOS and Android apps.

If you want to be one of the first to try it out, grab an Arduino IoT Cloud subscription. After that, just make sure you’re signed up to the Arduino newsletter to hear about other new features.

The post It’s easier than ever to add two-way communication to Arduino devices appeared first on Arduino Blog.

A splendid steampunk tea maker

via Arduino Blog

Steampunk Tea Timer Arduino Project

Prolific project maker and Arduino lover Alain Mauer has made a rather splendid tea maker project with a steampunk twist. Despite Mauer being based in Luxemburg, we’d have to say this feels like a very British Arduino application.

Crumpets or Battenburg, anyone?

Putting the “Tea” in “Steampunk”

The Tea Timer is a classic Arduino project. A simple idea with a simple execution, beautifully presented.

Mauer’s put together a timer that submerges a teabag for a preset period. We all have our preferences for the strength of tea, and everyone knows an entire day can be ruined if the teabag’s left in for too long (right?). So a five-stage timer lets you determine just how strong your tea will be.

Arduino Nano and servo in steampunk tea maker project

Once the timer’s run down, an Arduino Nano fires up the servo, which turns the gears and lifts the bag out so you don’t forget. Adjusted correctly, this also means you can consistently make the perfect cup of brown joy.

And just like the perfect cuppa, presentation is everything. Mauer didn’t need to add the gears, wooden housing or the brass finish. But the steampunk aesthetic really completes the project, and makes it into a work of art as well as an essential kitchen appliance. Now we just need to hook it up to a home automation system.

Mauer has provided all the CAD parts on his GitHub along with the Arduino code, so it’s easy to replicate.

Tea is a subject of great significance to the British. It can cause arguments, hysteria and family feuds that last for generations. All in a very civilized manner, of course. No Brit would be uncouth enough to have cross words in public about the proper way to drink tea. But we do reserve the right to tut and roll our eyes behind closed doors afterwards, should someone get it wrong.

Check out the steampunk Tea Timer and automatic teabag remover on Mauer’s blog. And let’s leave the last word on the vital importance of a cup o’ brown joy to the immortal Professor Elemental.

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