Singapore Science Centre

The Singapore Science Centre promotes interest and creative learning in science and technology, and makes science an inspiring and exciting experience for people of all ages. The Centre worked with CLWB and Microsoft to run a Wearables project with groups of children from schools, culminating in a press event on July 30th 2015. The project involved design, coding and working with Arduino microcontrollers.

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Poliedro

​​​Poliedro is a chain of private schools in Brazil. They recently bought CLWB’s robotics kits to teach their children how to program and use Arduino.

CLWB @ St Paul’s School – impacts from the Computing module

Thanks to the children, staff and parents at St Paul’s School, Sao Paulo for the great start to our program there. 76 students and staff learned the basics of Programming, Computer Science and Electronics. See below for video testimonials from the students.

Robotics at Bakhita

Children at Bakhita have successfully completed the CLWB Robotics module. The group studied, researched and recreated mechanisms including elements such as gears, levers, pulleys.

After gaining an understanding of mechanics, the children aquired a basic understanding of how a robot works in relation to the key sub assemblies – sensors, motors, power, and computung.

Each member of the group built their own robots in small teams, working thier way throiugh the sub-assemblies, and finishing with programming in the Arduino components.

Parents were deeply involved in the project. Check out photos of students working on the project – http://escolabakhita.com.br/educacao/modulo-robotica-projeto-clwb-escola-bakhita/​

CLWB @ Gnoll School, Wales

Thanks to the wonderful children and staff at Gnoll School in Neath, South Wales, for hosting a two-day CLWB workshop.

We took a year 5 and year 6 group through two CLWB ‘taster’ sessions, building e-t’shirts, and buggy robots over 2 days. The children – 27 in each class – were split into 3 groups of 3 teams, each with 3 members.​

E-t’shirts

In the e-t’shirt project, the children cycled through 3 activities –

1.    Electronics

A key principle to the e-t’shirt project is the use of conductive cotton, so an important task was for children to learn that electricity can pass through a variety of materials including cotton. All the children involved in the workshop made circuits with crocodile clips, resistors and leds and completed the ciruit with conductive cotton and conductive fabric. Breadboards were used to extend the learning to include buttons and switching. Year 6 students made a fruit keyboard with a MaKey MaKey.

Learning included:

  • Circuits
  • Resistance, voltage and current
  • Conductivity in different materials
  • Switching
  • Use of breadboards and crocodile clips
  • Using a multimeter

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2.    Programming

A key piece of technology that we used was a Lilypad Arduino. Children learned how a button attached to one port can switch an LED on another port through using Arduino ‘C’ code. To reinforce how computer programming works, children designed a set of dance instructions using coding syntax.

Learnings included:

  • Designing circuits
  • Structures, Values, and Functions.
  • Looping structures
  • Sequencing
  • Use of ‘Delay’, ‘Int’ (for data storage), ‘Digital Write’, ‘Equal to’.
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3.    Making

The children worked on the e-t’shirt fabrics, drawing and cutting patterns and embedding the LEDs and buttons in a conductive cotton circuit.

Learnings included:

  • Planning
  • Drawing
  • Cutting fabric
  • Sewing
  • Assembling
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Arduino Robots

This project is based on the F2 Robots Theme, “Step 6. Build Your Robot”.

The first task was a ‘teardown, where children analysed and identified the main components on the buggy.

One team built the electronics ‘sub assembly’, and programmed an Arduino Uno. They then tested the main electronic components using a serial monitor on the computer. This showed whether the ‘ping sensor’ worked or not before assembling the electro-mechanical sub-assembly with the chasis.

Then both sets of teams came together to bring their subassemblies together to produce and test the final robot.

Learnings included:​

  • Circuits
  • Power
  • Understanding sensors
  • Sonar – how sound travels, and how bats and submarines use sonar
  • Following wiring diagrams
  • Motors and how they work
  • Figuring out how a chasis can be built
  • Using a screwdriver
  • Assembling electronic components

CLWB activities at Cadoxton and Casllwchwr schools, shown at BETT 2014

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E-T’shirts are a great way to teach children how to design and work with circuits and embedded computing that can be incorporated into fabrics. The children here used an Arduino Lilypad with conductive thread and LEDs to give clues in a Mathematics quiz – can you work out the answer to the magic square? Watch the video to see.

This ‘ping sensor’ controlled robot buggy taught children how to program and build a robot. It also taught them basic laws of physics relating to sound, how fast it travels and how to calculate distances using a sonic sensor, maths and some programming.

Escola Bakhita results from 3 months of CLWB activities

1. Practical Application of Maths

Matheus Silvestre, Zombie Scratch program. “I learned co-ordinates and circular motion in this project, and saw the relevance of what I was learning in my Math class.”

2. Practical Understanding of Electrical Circuits

Rodrigo  Moreira, Artur Gomes da Silva, Electrical Circuits. “We learned that the basis of computing is electronics and that computers are made up of millions of tiny circuits. We learned how a circuit works and the role of resistance in a circuit, and about voltage, current, switches and breadboards”.

3. Practical Understanding of the Application of Science

Thaes Silvestre, Ian Duk Seo, E-Christmas card. “We learned about conductive ink, and that electricity can flow through more things than just wires. Conductive ink has metal in it and can be used in clothing, hats, walls and furniture etc.”

4. Creative Application of Technology 

Tiago Suda, Caio de Nasi Sclavi, E-Textiles. “You can make your clothes light up and use electronics to send messages via your clothes. If you take the battery out, you can wash clothes with this kind of technology built-in. As this kind of technology gets cheaper you can expect to see clothes lighting up and people displaying messages on their clothing. Imagine clothes that connect to your phone via bluetooth”.

5. Robotics – First Steps

Iain Hauber, USB Robot. “I built this and got it working in a weekend. Robots are now being used for medical operations and can be less prone to mistakes than human surgeons. Question – would you prefer to have a robot or a surgeon perform an operation on you?”

6. Understanding Sensors and Control Technologies

The girls explain – “the main components are an Arduino board, and an ultrasonic sensor. The sensor works like a bat sending out sound waves that bounce back from objects. The Arduino board turns these signals into instructions to the motors”.

7. Understanding Physical Computing

Artur Gomes da Silva, Antonio Masetti, Raspberry Pi programming.  “A Rasberry Pi is an integrated circuit that can work as a mini computer. They are different to other kinds of computers in that they can be used to control devices using GPIO pins. We learned how to program in  Python, which is great for writing games and controlling devices.”

8. Introduction to Aeronautics

Ana Leticia Oliveira and her freinds explain how a drone works The drone uses ultrasonic and gyroscopic sensors. You can control it using WiFi linked to an Android phone, and capture pictures on your phone beamed back from the drone. Helicopters fly using downward thrust.”