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Physical Computing

Physical computing uses actual bits of hardware for pupils to control via a program. This makes it an engaging and creative practical topic that children enjoy learning about. It is also an excellent context for the teaching of coding and understanding the world of computing.

 


 


What We Offer

Ever wanted to make a piano that works by playing fruit? Well here is your chance. You can control anything you use on a computer and it’s great for demonstrating how circuits etc. work. We can turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It's a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything in-between! 

The PicoBoard is a piece of hardware called a sensor board that can be combined with the Scratch programming environment to allow your Scratch programs to react (and even respond) to events happening outside of the computer. Use it to control games or use the on-board sensors to measure sound and light levels.

WeDo is developed for younger primary school pupils as an introduction to control technology and programming using robotics. It’s a fantastic, simple-to-use tool that enables pupils to learn by constructing their own models and bringing them to life. WeDo ticks national curriculum boxes and comes with a cross-curricular plug and teach curriculum pack that improves communication, collaboration and team-building skills.

WeDo helps teach how technology plays an active and informative role in the pupils’ learning and is an ideal product for teaching across different subjects at primary school, particularly literacy, science, maths, technology and engineering.

            

Most schools give children access to coding opportunities using software such as Scratch and Kodu. However we can use the low cost CodeBug to create an object with a CodeBug embedded in it, for example as a piece of wearable technology. After programming the CodeBug the children get to keep and use the object they have made if the school choose to purchase it. If they wish they can reprogram and repurpose the CodeBug for another activity at a later date. CodeBug uses a simple online editor to build up the necessary code that controls an LED to show simple graphics and text.

 

The Codebug has 25 LEDs built in to the design that can be programmed to make patterns and words and the session will introduce the online editor (with simulator so you can test code without a physical Codebug) and how to programme the LEDs. The children can then work independently or in groups to create their own LED sequence that is then downloaded to the CodeBug to run on the device.

Welcome to the BBC Micro:Bit - a compound board with a brain (the processor), a range of inbuilt sensors and a 5x5 LED matrix all packed onto a board that's hardly 5cm square.

There's a few different ways to program it, suiting everyone from novice to advanced and it's packed with great features to make programming a very creative and intuitive process.

Although you can purchase a physical device, you can still use the emulator and the programming is very similar to Scratch. A huge amount of secondary schools are using the micro:bit and this would be an exciting session for you and your pupils.