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Outreach Resources


Sensing Our World Workshop

Scratch@MIT - Day 2

with additional resources created for the workshops:

  • Science from Scratch (Arduino + ExperiSense Board)
  • Serious Science with Silly Sensors
  • Connecting Our World

  • Sensing Me!

The joy and challenge of building ‘cheap and cheerful’ sensors has a wide appeal to adults as well as children. It also opens a wide number of links to aspects of the maths, science, computing, design and technology, and engineering curricula, supporting scientific investigation and discovery.

In 2016, the Technology Volunteers leaders designed and built an add on board for Arduino, the ExperiSense - to support a greater range of scientific experiments than was possible using the Picoboard, and also to enable output from Scratch into the physical world. The first table below gives the new worksheets for the ExperiSense board. The board has been designed to be fully compatible with the Picoboard and the concepts from the original worksheets can be used with only slight modifications, so these sheets have been retained and are listed in the second table at the foot of this page.

ExperiSense Worksheets

Worksheets
Wind Turbine
Rotation Sensor
Experimenting with Resistance (Thermistor)
Experimenting with Resistance (Electro-Chemistry)
ExperiSense Quick Start Guide
Introduction to ExperiSense


Science from Scratch, board and worksheets were developed in 2016 and presented (Presentation here) at Scratch 2016 Scratch@MIT Conference by:

Margaret Low, Principal Teaching Fellow, WMG, University of Warwick,
Stephen Pithouse, Graduate, Electronic Engineering, University of Warwick
Kieran Hall, Computer Science, University of Warwick,
Caspar Collins, Graduate, Physics, University of Warwick,
Matt Earl, Chemistry, University of Warwick
Martin Luk, Graduate, Computer Science, University of Warwick
William Choi, Graduate, PPE, University of Warwick

PICOBOARD Resources


In the table below are a set of worksheets to build and calibrate sensors for the Scratch Sensor Board (Picoboard). They are part of the resources supporting the Sensing Our World workshop, for the Scratch@MIT Conference, Create Your World, in July 2012. The workshop presentation is here. These workshops are used in local schools by the Technology Volunteers, a Warwick Volunteers project.

Additional worksheets have been developed for the Scratch 2013 Conference in Barcelona, Connecting Our World workshop (see below for links). The workshop presentation is available here. The workshop Connecting With Our World formed part of the 'Making the Web PhScratch@MIT 2012 - Day 3ysical' track at Mozilla Festival 2013 in London (#mozfest) and again at the Mozilla Festival 2014 in London.

Further worksheets were developed for Scratch 2014 Conference at MIT, Sensing Me workshop. Science focused worksheets have been developed for the Serious Science with Silly Sensors workshop at Scratch 2015 Conference in Amsterdam.

The sensor boards provide a means of challenging the notion that computer interfaces are only keyboards and monitors. Young people are already familiar with other interfaces for example to mobile phones and game consoles. Being able to explore alternative inputs to a computer via the scratch sensor boards and develop applications opens new avenues well within the reach of young people. It also poses other questions, for example, how can we improve the sensors, are they reliable over time? How and why do they fail? How can we build better ones? Exploring why things fail or don’t work is often a key to deeper learning and further development.

To use these resources, you need to have:

  • Scratch software, download it free of charge from scratch.mit.edu
  • Scratch Sensor Board (or picoboard) with the driver installed (manufactured by SparkFun)Scratch@MIT 2012 - Day 2

Picoboard Worksheets

"How to make" Worksheets "How to use" Worksheets "Useful Information" Sheets
Tilt Sensor (Tiltometer) Tilt Sensor (lunch box alarm) Rescaling Sensor Readings
Simple Pointer Bottle top drum kit Identifying Senses and Grounds
Pressure Sensor Pressure Sensor Choosing Sensors
Variable Value Sensor (slider)     
Thermometer    
TouchPad TouchPad


Box It (reaction game)    
Dancemat    
Light Meter Optics of the Eye  
Make a colour sensor Use a colour sensor  
Measure breath control    
Theremin    
Count Events People Counter  
Make a Force Sensor Force Sensor Example  
Plant Moisture Sensor Plant Moisture Example  
Make Wind Direction Sensor Wind Direction Example  
Make Wind Speed Sensor Wind Speed Example  
Random Number Generator Investigate Light Sensor  



















 

Serious Science with Silly Sensors worksheets were developed in 2015 and presented at Scratch 2015 Amsterdam Conference by:

Margaret Low, Principal Teaching Fellow, WMG, University of Warwick,
Stephen Pithouse, Engineering, University of Warwick
Tom Preece, Graduate, Maths, University of Warwick,
Arteesha Bosamia, Graduate, Comp Sci, University of Warwick,
Robert Sandford, Graduate, Maths, University of Warwick
Andrew Sula, Graduate, Computer Science, University of Warwick
Marie Low, Graduate, Maths & Music, Royal Holloway, University of London.


Sensing Me worksheets were developed in 2014 and presented at Scratch@MIT 2014 Conference by:

Margaret Low, Principal Teaching Fellow, WMG, University of Warwick,
Tom Preece, Graduate, Maths, University of Warwick,
Matthew Healey, 4th year Physics, University of Warwick,
Arteesha Bosamia, Graduate, Comp Sci, University of Warwick,
Marie Low, Graduate, Maths & Music, Royal Holloway, University of London.

Connecting Our World worksheets were developed in 2012-13 and presented at the Scratch 2013 Barcelona conference by:

Margaret J. Low, Principal Teaching Fellow, WMG, University of Warwick
Samantha Edwards, 4th year Computer Science & Business Studies, University of Warwick
Andrew Sula, 2nd year Computer Science, University of Warwick
Tom Preece, 3rd year Mathematics, University of Warwick,
Marie Low, 3rd year BA Maths & Music, Royal Holloway, University of London

Connecting With Our World workshop was presented at Mozilla Festival 2013 (#mozfest) by the Connecting Our World team (above) and Matthew Healey (3rd year MPhys, Physics, University of Warwick).

The Sensing Our World resources were developed in 2011-12 and presented at the Scratch@MIT 2012
conference by: Sensing Our World Team

Margaret J. Low, Principal Teaching Fellow, WMG, University of Warwick
Phil How, 4th year MEng Computer Science, University of Warwick
John Rendall, BCS Coventry Branch Secretary (John's conference summary)
Marie Low, 2nd year BA Maths & Music, Royal Holloway, University of London.



These resources were created through the kind support of the following organisations:sign.jpg

People who were at the Scratch@MIT 2012 workshop and wrote about it.

Additional resources that are highly recommended!

Some photographs of the Sensing Our World workshop activities from the Scratch 2012 Conference are below.


This workshop has been delivered to local schools by the Technology Volunteers. Its also been presented at these events:

  • Scratch@MIT 2014, 6th - 9th August 2014
  • Warwick University Teaching and Learning Showcase, 24th June 2014
  • Computing At School 2014 Conference, Birmingham University, 21st June 2014
  • BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Open Centre, 19th February 2014
  • International Mozilla Festival 2013, London 25th - 27th October 2013
  • European Scratch Conference, Connecting Worlds, Barcelona, 27th - 29th July 2013
  • Computing At School (CAS) Hub Leaders weekend, Warwick University 8th-9th February 2013.
  • National HESTEM Conference, Birmingham University, 4th - 6th September, 2012.
  • Computing At School 2012 Conference, Birmingham University, 14th - 15th July 2012.
  • Coventry LEA ICT Teachers Workshop, 28th June 2012
  • Coventry & Warwickshire Computing At School Hub Meeting, Warwick University, 29th May 2012
  • BCS Coventry Branch meeting, Warwick University, 16th May 2012
  • HE STEM Engineering and Outreach Focus Day, University of Swansea, 10th May 2012.
  • Inspiring Innovative Classroom Teaching and Learning Conference, Coventry University, 14th June 2011