Sustainability & :bit-novation @ Maha Bodhi School

Integrating a mess of controller, wires, sensor, servo and LEDs into a security system.

Throughout July and August we delivered our biggest educational program yet – a cohort of ~315 students for 10.5 hours of micro:bit-based, physical computing and making module following a sustainability and innovation contextual arc.

It was a labor of love, but boy was it labor. We sourced electrical components, packaged hundreds of kits, created a custom-tailored curriculum, and printed hundreds of personal worksheets & guides. This is about the largest I’d want to get for a while. Any bigger and I think we’d lose a sense of what we’re actually doing.

The kids got to explore all sorts of external electronic components, from simple LEDs to water pumps and servos, hygrometers and IR proximity sensors. It was a breadth-first bonanza, but the class sizes (1:40 ratio) and short session durations (1.5 hr) prevented us from really digging down, although at the end the kids were testing their own limits, which was great to see.

Water & Electronics – not the best mix… Still, this girl team of makers didn’t fry anything!

I think we could concentrate on something less open-ended and get better student participation rates, sacrificing our own interest and the rare oddballs who are best-suited for a more creative approach.

Kids’ final projects ranged from Bluetooth-powered messaging between multiple micro:bits, proximity-triggered security systems with buzzers and LEDs, and self-watering plants. The sustainability gambit colored all of the work and learning.

 

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