Soldering on to connect #MakerEd plans

Preparing for the unknown:

Next week I’ll be facilitating an Ada Day with a group of students who’s activities will be centred around student voice and digital making.

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They’ll be challenged to creatively visualise and solve real world problems, which are linked to their school’s global citizenship curriculum.


Following this first session, the students will be able to use their code with sensor nodes and link their environmental data and findings to the Connected Hull dashboard and coverage through The Things Network.

First things first, though.

  • Discover
  • Interpret
  • Design
  • Code
  • Test
  • Debug
  • Test again
  • Share

Soldering On

Through this approach we’ll explore the benefits, applications and considerations of big data, GPS metadata and privacy of personal data to add to future project builds.


Planning for the unknown?

We’ve collated the start of a resource bank to equip the students to visualise their data and solutions.

Final outputs will only be discovered next week.


STEM to STEAM: Coding Art with Sphero

An opportunity to look at drag and drop programming with the Sphero and see how far we could extend initial STEM to STEAM ideas for it.

We’ve been controlling with a phone app and coding with Tynker, so for this project SPRK Lighting Lab was used with an iPad.

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Jackson Pollock style influences, although what we’re really hoping for is progression of programming to aspire to A Bigger Picture by David Hockney.

Yorkshire dreams as next steps. One day  🙂

Leeds Raspberry Jam, 6th July 2016

Robots, clocks, game making, Pygame and musical compositions with Sonic Pi.

This month’s jam was a blend of personalised projects and inspiration through collaboration.

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We got the chance to do a bit of clock watching this new timepiece.  There’s something wonderful about seeing binary in colour 🙂

Details about the project from this link to The MagPi magazine article, for anybody interested in building one themselves.

We were also joined by some of the Young Makers’ group from Swallow Hill, who came along to develop their robot making.

Of course, add one robot to a Jam and another one very quickly appears. We soon turned to more plans from more of the group for the April 2017 PiWars event and challenge.

Next dates will appear on Eventbrite and through @LeedsRaspJam next week.

Hull Raspberry Jam, Saturday 25th June

Great to see the Raspberry Jam community growing in Hull.

This weekend we welcomed over 40 people into Malet Lambert School, on a sunny Saturday morning, to share and learn together using Raspberry Pi.

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New collaborations forming, and family learning challenges extending, as teams expand with added experiences and programming snippets from others.

One of our workshops centred around using the Invent With Python resources to play and hack games together.


With a community of young digital makers, adult programmers and developers, inventors, teachers and parents, we see exciting projects emerging from our introductory hands-on workshops.

Shared experiences and ideas can quickly develop with those connections and project boxes of kit and gubbins at the jam.

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Examples above from one of our younger members, who has used what she already knows about project possibilities with Python to author interactive fiction stories.

Sharing Lord of the Rings adventures leads her to animation tinkering with one of our Sense Hats.

And as we hear about another group using sensors on the hat to control their hacked squirrel from the first workshop, the snowball effect on ideas continues.

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Personal projects still continue, making use of on-site Q&A and extra kit.  Game making with Scratch and then developing controllers.


Or exploring Jon’s tweeting selfie cam idea and pledging to start your own build:

Smile 🙂

Connecting sensor modules with Flotilla from Pimoroni led to ideas, inventions and conversations about Raspberry Pi and the internet of things.


And adventures with Sphero got more interactive as our youngest member quickly got used to the interface and we tried to jump 🙂


Seems like the idea of robot building, and a day out to see even more robots, is appealing to more than just our members who have highlighted 1st April 2017 on the calendar and started making already.

Look out for Team @HullRaspJam visiting PiWars in Cambridge!

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Check out @HullRaspJam and Eventbrite for upcoming news about a next date in the Hull Raspberry Jam diary.

Flying Ninja Catapult and other simple machines

We’ve been connecting ideas with straws to understand what a simple machine is and using design thinking to develop complex skills.

With a maker kit of Strawbees to support innovations to solve real world problems, we first looked at creating a claw machine.


That meant exploring perceptions about the fairness of arcade claws and how building, testing and refining a design could alter effectiveness.

With that came various iterations and changes to the purpose of the claw, particularly after strength testing with raids on the biscuit tin.

Thankfully failure to pick up at this point did strengthen problem solving, and embrace F.A.I.L. as a positive step to finding creative solutions, rather than lighten the cookie load.

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And then next steps in designing new solutions took a ninja twist, with peer challenges, after viewing catapult examples in the Strawbee guide.

Testing times ahead : )

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Strictly wearables: e-textiles without needle pain

How to solve a problem of a dance bag forever left at venues and preparation for upcoming e-textile events?

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Easily done with a ‘pimp my bag’ challenge and only one rule.  You can never have enough bling.

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And special considerations given for those of us challenged by needle skills and who never made the grade with O’Level Domestic Science.

Hence my latest love for all things furoshiki style.

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Just one Codebug would seem plain, but two and it’s lights, song and dancing : )

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Strictly Colourstar:

Strictly tunes:

Work in progress, less is less. #BlingItUp 🙂

Hull Raspberry Jam 23 April 2016

Our next event will be in June or July and it’s that commitment from the Raspberry Jam community in Hull that has epitomised an excitement and support through Raspberry Pi and computing.

Look out for a link to the Eventbrite page (or @HullRaspJam) and also for updates on projects and commitments launched today.

We can’t wait to see how ‘Hedgehog Watch’ develops after a lady joined us to find out how those around her get so excited about Pi possibilities, and went on to scope a project herself.

It also seems like there’s lots of interest in setting skyward ambitions from the city after hearing about one particular astro teddy!

Today’s Raspberry Jam was instigated by this family robot project, which we saw in all it’s flashing LED glory during our Pi-share time:

Robotic inspiration from Jon and examples of other digital making projects from the group also led to over 30 of us using those ideas and possibilities during workshop activities.

Getting to grips with Raspberry Pi soon progressed to game making with ScratchMinecraft hacks using Python and then a focus on what we could learn from Tim Peake using our own SenseHats.

With a diverse group including novices to programming, developers, students, game makers, teachers and families, then the expertise within the spaces soon became apparent and shared.


Minecraft builds


Sensing colour


Learning with sensors –  click image for video link


Next steps with sensors

Back up to Space with Dave sharing his school’s project after attending the Skycademy training, launching their own project and then inspiring others at the Jam:


Plans, launch and follow up from Queen Margaret’s School Pi in the Sky project

Want to know where teddy landed?  Check here:

With grateful thanks to Malet Lambert School, as such supportive hosts, we also had a Makerspace to share other projects and activities to try.

Super Awesome Sylvia‘s Colorbot brought out a Spring themed robot painted creation for some of our younger members.


Sakura Season


Family collaborations

Here are a couple of our younger digital creators who were also our lucky prize winners today.

Check out the next date for a Raspberry Jam in Hull and we’ll see what they’ve been exploring : )


Coming back with more ideas using Pi

Thanks to everyone who came along today and helped to make this happen.

Amazing teamwork 🙂

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