Computer Science 3 – Physical Computing

Computer Science 3 – Physical Computing 

This strand of the overview will require an investment into some hardware. We have shared a variety of resources that range from low to end high budgets which can be used across your school.  If you budget doesn’t allow for purchasing hardware you could extend your computer science 2 strand. 

 

 

Resource 1 – Lego Wedo

 

What is it?

A system where children will build models using Lego that can be programmed. It includes a motor, light sensor and a tilt sensor.

It can also be used with scratch.

Year group

Year 3 and Year 4

How can it be used?

Children will either follow the provided instructions to build models and programme them.

AND/OR

Children can make their own models to meet a need. E.G – Make a fan that automatically turn sit self on and off.

More Resources and Planning

Planning on Code-It.co.uk:

 

 

 

Resource 2 – CodeBug

 

What is it?

A small micro controller that you can program. It has 2 buttons, 4 more inputs and a square of red led that can be used as a display. You program it using an online website.

Year group

Year 4 and Year 5

How can it be used?

Children can program the CodeBug to display simple images and animations or scroll text. The inputs can be used to change the images. You can connect other lights and program a traffic light sequence.

More Resources and Planning

Activities on the CodeBug Website

 

 

 

Resource 3 -MBots

 

What is it?

A small inexpensive robot that contains a range inputs and outputs, including – motors, buzzer, LEDS, line sensor, distance sensor, IR sensor, Light sensor and a buttons. It is programmed via a version of scratch.

Year group

Year 5 and 6.

How can it be used?

Children can program the mBot to:

  • Flash LEDS
  • Sing a song
  • Move using the Keyboard.
  • Avoid obstacles using the distance and line follower sensor.

Reprogram the remote control to control the mBot.

More Resources and Planning

Official Website with links to further activities and planning.

http://learn.makeblock.cc/mbot/

 

 

Resource  4 – Makey Makey 

 

What is it?

A device that can be used as a replacement for keyboard. Making a circuit will make the the Makey Makey send the computer a signal that a ‘key’ has been pressed.

Year group

Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6.

How can it be used?

Children can use a Makey Makey to control their existing projects in new and exciting ways.

They can create controllers, make a musical keyboard out of fruit.

More Resources and Planning

Official Website

Lots of ideas on YouTube.

 

 

Resource 5 – Raspberry Pi

 

What is it?

A small credit cards sized computer. It can be used like any computer once a keyboard and mouse it attached. It provides opportunities for Minecraft programming, python and physical computing using GPIO pins.

Year group

Year 6 +

How can it be used?

Children could use a Raspberry Pi to program a wide array of physical devices. They can programme LEDs to switch on and off, make a traffic light, create animations or pixel arrays using a SenseHAT. Program in Minecraft using Python

More Resources and Planning

Activities from the Official Raspberry Pi Site

https://www.raspberrypi.org/resources/

 

 

Resource 6 – Lego Mindstorms

 

What is it?

Robotics Kits made by Lego – There are 3 main types that schools may have.

  • RCX
  • NXT
  • REV

They uses a range inputs and outputs, including – motors, line sensor, distance sensor, Light sensor and buttons.

Year group

Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6.

How can it be used?

Children will either follow the provided instructions to build robots and models and programme them.

AND/OR

Children can make their own models to meet a need.

More Resources and Planning

Activities uploaded to CAS Site – Link to follow.