Category Archives: General News

Ava Lovelace day

Today is a very special day for computing, but not just computing…

Every year, on the second Tuesday in October, Ada Lovelace Day (ALD) is an international celebration day of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and, in doing so, create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.

Here are some links where you can find out more about Ada Lovelace Day and Ada herself.

Ada Lovelace Day
Ada Lovelace biography
Ada Lovelace National Geographic page
Not your typical role model – BBC

Can you leave a comment below with something you have learned, or something you would like to know about Ada?

Predicting and testing with Blue-Bot

Year 2 have been learning how to predict and test using the Blue-Bot app. They were set a series of challenges to move the Blue-Bot from one location to another. Before they used the app they had to predict, on paper which instructions would be successful. Once they had made their predictions they tested them using the app. In a different colour pencil they debugged their instructions, showing qualities of determination and resilience.

Variables – week 2

Following on from last week, this week we are going to look at variables in more depth. You will have the chance to remind yourselves of what variables are and how you can add them to a game.

We will then look at how we can add more complex variables, such as a countdown timer, and make things happen as a result using conditional blocks.

To begin with we will use the same base project as last week:

Pong without scoring

**UPDATE**

Here’s Kaitlin, Chand and Emily’s project – not only did they get the timer working without any additional support, they also switched backgrounds with the background varying according to how the game ended. Click on the link to the project page to see how they it.

Can I add variables to a game in Scratch?

Last week we decomposed Scratch projects to find and fix errors in their code. This week we will focus on one particular project – Pong. The objective is to improve Pong by adding in a scoring system, and for some of you adding in a timer to limit the length of each game.

Decompose the game on your sheet in as much detail as you can.

To begin with you will need to plan exactly what you want your scoring system to do – think about these questions:
– How will you score points?
– How much will the score change by?
– When will the score need to change?

Pong game without scoring

Here are your challenges:

Mild – Add variables ‘score’ and ‘time’ to a game

Medium – improve the game by introducing a score which increases as you play and resets at the beginning of each game

Hot – Add a countdown timer to your game

Extra Hot – End your game when the timer counts down to zero

On your prompt sheets are some of the blocks you will need, and some that you won’t…

Blue-bot!

Year 2 have been having great fun programming robots through iPads. We’ve been using Blue-bots which are based on Bee-bots, but can be controlled through tablets via bluetooth. The children applied their knowledge of directional language and instructions to create algorithms for the Blue-bots to follow.

In common with many of the tools I use in school, the Blue-bot app is free and is available for Android and IOS devices. Click on the links below to find out how you can download it on to your device at home.

Blue-bot app – Android, Google Play store
Blue-bot app – IOS, App Store

Debugging Challenge

I have been looking at the concepts and approaches behind coding and programming with years 5 & 6. Last week we looked at logical reasoning to not only solve number sequences, but to really explain how the were solved. This enabled us to follow a logical process for each sequence.

This week we are going to apply that skill, and also the skills of decomposition and abstraction to debug some Scratch projects.

Can you find and fix the errors in these projects:

Dance Party

Pong Starter

Maze starter

Before you use a computer, have a look at the projects and compare them with the debugged versions. Break down the projects by decomposing them into their individual parts – which parts are not functioning correctly?

Once you think you have found and recorded the bugs, click on the links above, then click on ‘See inside’ and see if you can find and fix the errors. Record what you did on you sheet.

Bee-bot in Year 1

Year 1 have been using Bee-bots to learn how computers need instructions to function. We began by playing Simon Says, a great game for explaining the importance of accurate instructions. We then experimented with Bee-bots, seeing how we could make them move with the instructions.

Bee-bot is available as a free app on both IOS and and Blue-bot is available for Android tablet devices:

Bee-bot IOS
Blue-bot Android

If you have a compatible device, please download these apps and explore them with your child – they’re great fun!