Microbit Coding Class

This is an introductory course on micro-controller programming. Students will learn about hardware, software, and programming or “coding” basics (values, strings, functions, input, output, decisions, loops,…). The hardware is BBC’s “Micro:bit,” a tiny, programmable computer on a 2 inch long by 1-1/2 inch printed circuit board. Students connect the Micro:bit to their laptop computer via USB. They create or program software “code” on their Windows PC. Programming through MakeCode, a web-based “drag and drop” block coding application: https://makecode.micro:bit.org/#. After programming, their code is downloaded to Micro:bit, stored, and automatically run. The process, from start to finish, is relatively quick and satisfying.

Micro:bit packs in a number of cool on-board features: 25 LED lights, 2 buttons, radio and Bluetooth antenna (to communicate and interact with other Micro:bits), compass (for direction), and accelerometer (for motion detection). Micro:bit also has a battery socket so it can operate standalone using a battery. Edge connectors are provided for accessories. More information on these features here: https://micro:bit.org/guide/features/

During each class, the students will learn about Micro:bit hardware (processor, controller, printed circuit board, connectors, ports, integrated circuits, switches, LEDs,…). They will then be guided through the steps to program their Micro:bit and complete a project. Most of these projects are supported by BBC at https://makecode.micro:bit.org/#. o First, tutorial projects will teach the basics of Mi-cro:bit. Tutorial projects include Flashing Heart, Name Tag, Smiley Buttons, Dice, and variations of these programs. Other coding projects will be game-based, blue tooth-based, and science-based, like Rock-Paper-Scissors, Coin Flipper, Step Counter and War. Other projects will connect Micro:bit to accessories and external data, like Ring and Reaction Time. As the students gain skills and confidence programming Micro:bit, they will be guided in developing variations of existing projects and creating interactive blue-297 tooth games for the class to enjoy.

Description

  • Course Title: Microbit Coding
  • Teacher: Elizabeth Shimada
  • Course Length: Two semesters. Class meets weekly.
  • Type of Class: Group meetings through HEART Academy
  • When: Friday, 10:05 am – 11:20 am
  • Fee payable to the teacher: $75/month
  • Lab one-time fee: $40 (includesMicro:bit board which student keeps)
  • Curriculum: Handouts.
  • Minimum – Maximum Class Size: 6-10 students
  • Questions: Email Elizabeth Shimada 
  • Grade Levels: 6th-10th grade

Prerequisites: Student must have their own working own laptop with USB port and wifi capability. This is a beginning micro-controller coding class. Those with prior hardware coding experience are better off in another class using more complex micro-controller boards (Arduino, Raspberry Pi,…). Students should have good attention and listening skills and be comfortable using their laptop (saving and opening files, navigating windows, etc.)

Course Goal The goal of this class is introduce students to block coding and micro-controller programming and provide a practical understanding of hardware, software, and programming. Micro-controller programming is popular for robotics. It is also a very fun way to learn about computers and computer programming because of the quick feedback watching “software control hardware.” For students who desire to explore programming outside of block coding, the block editor, MakeCode, gives full access to JavaScript, and Micro:bit is fully supported using Python.

Course Description

This is an introductory course on micro-controller programming. Students will learn about hardware, software, and programming or “coding” basics (values, strings, functions, input, output, decisions, loops,…). The hardware is BBC’s “Micro:bit,” a tiny, programmable computer on a 2 inch long by 1-1/2 inch printed circuit board. Students connect the Micro:bit to their laptop computer via USB. They create or program software “code” on their Windows PC. Programming through MakeCode, a web-based “drag and drop” block coding application: https://makecode.micro:bit.org/#. After programming, their code is downloaded to Micro:bit, stored, and automatically run. The process, from start to finish, is relatively quick and satisfying.

Micro:bit packs in a number of cool on-board features: 25 LED lights, 2 buttons, radio and Bluetooth antenna (to communicate and interact with other Micro:bits), compass (for direction), and accelerometer (for motion detection). Micro:bit also has a battery socket so it can operate standalone using a battery. Edge connectors are provided for accessories. More information on these features here: https://micro:bit.org/guide/features/

During each class, the students will learn about Micro:bit hardware (processor, controller, printed circuit board, connectors, ports, integrated circuits, switches, LEDs,…). They will then be guided through the steps to program their Micro:bit and complete a project. Most of these projects are supported by BBC at https://makecode.micro:bit.org/#. o First, tutorial projects will teach the basics of Mi-cro:bit. Tutorial projects include Flashing Heart, Name Tag, Smiley Buttons, Dice, and variations of these programs. Other coding projects will be game-based, blue tooth-based, and science-based, like Rock-Paper-Scissors, Coin Flipper, Step Counter and War. Other projects will connect Micro:bit to accessories and external data, like Ring and Reaction Time. As the students gain skills and confidence programming Micro:bit, they will be guided in developing variations of existing projects and creating interactive blue-297 tooth games for the class to enjoy.

Grading There is no grading in this course. If you desire grading or semester evaluations, contact the teacher.

Homework Students should complete all in-class projects within the week they are given in class. Contacting the teacher outside class for support so students do not get behind. Additional coding projects are given as optional homework.

Attendance When students miss class, they should contact the teacher to get the necessary info to complete the project at home.

Before the First Class Contact the teacher at lizshimada@gmail.com with confirmation that your laptop’s USB and wifi have been tested, and that our student has been able to access MakeCode.

What to Bring to Class Students should bring to every class:

  • laptop with working USB and wifi
  • Micro:bit and cable (given on first day of class)
  • folder, pencil and paper ☺
  • Any optional completed homework assignments to share in class

Contacting the Teacher: Email Liz Shimada