Week 7 – Do Haribo Smurf sweets taste any better once Electricity has passed through them? Answer = No but they do make a good control button! This week we looked at Scratch GPIO. We started off by learning about what GPIO stood for and what sort of things were classed as an input or output. Then we looked at the 40 GPIO pins on the new Pi and talked about how they were labelled with GPIO numbers or PIN numbers. For our first experience of GPIO pins we programmed in Scratch GPIO 7 so we could clearly see how our commands of controls worked rather than jumping straight into a Python script. We had asked Mrs Lowe if we could have a go at the singing Jelly Baby project but instead of using Python as the documentation suggests we tried Scratch GPIO7 and instead of a Jelly baby we used a Smurf Haribo sweet. Unfortunately we hit a problem that every time we tried to add sound Scratch GPIO shut down. After a few attempts we tweeted @cymplecy and @biglesp for help and found out there is a bug when using the new Pi with sounds in Scratch GPIO7. Still in good spirits we quickly changed our project to using the Smurf sweet to act as a control button and changed our Sprite to – you guessed it – a Smurf! We followed a worksheet of how to connect our jumper leads (F-F) to the relevant GPIO pins, one of which of course was ground, then attached straightened out paper clips to the other end of each jumper lead. Then we inserted the other end of the paper clips into the Smurf sweet so they nearly touched but would only make contact when the sweet was squeezed. Once our set up had been checked we switched on the Raspberry Pi, opened up Scratch GPIO, changed our Sprite to a self drawn Smurf, inserted our code making sure our PIN numbers corresponded with our jumper wires and finally squeezed the Smurf sweet. Hey Presto our Sprite moved round the screen when the sweet was squeezed. Simon at Cymplecy tweeted us a link of how to get round the sound problem of the first project. We will give this a go and report on our progress. Next week we will continue with Scratch GPIO and introduce a breadboard.
Week 6 – Should we be having this much fun in lessons? The answer is YES! This week we continued to look at Sonic Pi our lesson was Guess that Tune! We had to input code using the play pattern function,
define the bpm to form part of a tune, run it, then fill in our answer sheet with the name of the tune we thought the code represented. We did this for 5 tunes then compared our answers with each other. Tune 3 had most of us fooled apart from Jack and Matthew. We then took each tune and increased and decreased the bpm to see what would happen. We went wild when we increased This Old Man to 900 bpm it sounded incredible. The second part of our lesson involved us taking each tune and playing around with the different Synths. By the end of the lesson we had achieved our learning objective by playing a series of musical notes by coding and began to use functions and variables. Thank you to the University of East Anglia School of Computing Science for the resource which we adapted for use with the latest version of Sonic Pi. All our resources will be shared on our website shortly.
Week 5 – Well it was always going to be a noisy week and we were not disappointed once the children got their hands on Sonic Pi. First of all we all lined up to become a human code. We were each given a card to hold with a command on, some were noises and others were sleeps. We had to run the code by acting out our command when the control card was passed to us. We learn’t all about the importance of sleeps and what happend when a command we did not understand was introduced, in other words a bug in the code. After this we were let lose on the Raspberry Pi’s and began entering a simple code to run while playing around with the different synths. Then we had a game of Sabotage, we had to put a deliberate bug in our code and then let someone else try to debug it. Ethan and Myles were so sneaky that even Mrs Lowe & Mrs Clemo failed to spot it. Have a go yourself by checking the photo of our code. Next week we will be looking at loops in Sonic Pi and of course playing around with the sounds.
Week 4 – Today we took Minecraft a step further thanks to the wonderful worksheets Mrs Lowe brought back from #picademynorth. We looked at coding Minecraft to tell us the position of Steve, then we put him in the air and let him drop by adding 50 to his height position. Jack discovered if he subtracted instead of adding Steve went underground. Katherine persevered with her syntax errors on her Python script trying to drop Diamond blocks as she walked through her world. Her perseverance paid off in the end, she managed to debug her own code and make it run successfully. Our attempts at getting Astro Pi to read the temperature were not as successful however our digital leaders are on the case and shall not be beaten. Part of the fun of coding is overcoming the obstacles that get in our way! Next week we will be looking at Sonic Pi.