As a part of our Live to code, code to live program we’ve been going into local schools to help students learn how to code, use computers and generally how computers work. This week, I’m here to update you on what we’ve been up to with some year 5 pupils after school at Friar’s Grove Primary School.

At this point we’ve had several after school sessions ranging from advanced searching on Google to learning about how computer networks operate. I’m here to talk about our first session of coding with the year 5 pupils.

After School PopKit

The class’ teacher Mr Purvis had a few Pop Kits from Tech Will Save Us. After seeing these we knew the students would love to have a go with them.

The kits consist of a main circuit board, a few inputs and outputs, power cable and access to the coding program used for it.

We began the session by explaining how computers think using a series of instructions that it follows vigorously. Following from this was a brief explanation of inputs and outputs along with a tutorial on using the kits.

PopKitUI

After showing the basics of the program we split the class into 4 groups and set them a few challenges.

First was to go through the tutorial and get a light to work when the button is pressed.

The second was the main task: A doorbell.

Needless to say, things got a little loud as many groups forgot to add a way for the kit’s buzzer to stop making noise. After pointing this out, the students were doing well. One group decided to take it to the next step of making a tune play. Nothing recognisable, but they had used wait times and different conditions for the buzzer to create the effect.

With the groups getting to this point we set them a final challenge. Their Kits were to become ambulances. This required:

  • A Flashing light
  • A Siren
  • A button to trigger them

With little time and the addition of another output the groups got to work. Some came across previous errors but knew how to troubleshoot these. With only a minute to spare, two groups showed us their working systems. If only there were some wheels…

The pupils had fun and appeared to learn a lot as they were referencing these aspects in the next session. Needless to say, we’re excited to continue working with such a bright group for the after school club.

For more information on our Live to Code, Code to live course you can click here.

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