Internet of Things Making for Kids

8th July 2013

One of the great things about working and playing together at DoES is that every now and then one person’s idea, becomes a shared idea.  One of these led to a joint MCQN ltd, Imagication and Open Labs application to Nesta to take Internet of Things into schools.

Lily-mai, 11: in school we have never done anything like what we did in the workshop. It was very fun and I learnt a lot from it.

With Adrian developing the programming, Kirsty developing workshops and kit, and with support from Kev and Cefn we developed a weather station built using shrimping, and tested and refined our resources and instructions with over 300 children aged 7-16.  We had great fun teaching children first to build Persistence of Vision kit (That’s Eleanor in the picture below demonstrating hers) and then adding to it to build the weather station.

Luke, 11: Me and my best friend Joel had lots of fun, even though we had some trouble we got through in the end.

The Weather station scrapes data from BBC weather [update: we had considered scraping the BBC weather site, but found that the Met Office had an API – Adrian] talks to the Met Office’s Datapoint service and then does two things with it.  A small servo moves to show the temperature, popping out like an old fashioned clock in one version, or twisting the top of a lighthouse in another, and they both display LED’s which show the prevalent weather condition.  This is the first of many resources and add-ons that we’ll be posting as up resources, and we hope just the start of developing Internet of Things, ‘Things’ with children.  Three things:

  1. You can find the instructions here – do download them and have a go.  You can get the kits or parts from Cefn, or follow the links on his site to order your own.
  2.  We’re holding a session in September for teachers and group leaders- if you or anyone you know wants to come, let us know @imagicationuk
  3.  We’ll be running a @_futuremakers_ session with shrimps in September – beg, borrow or steal children if you don’t own some already and join us!

Persistence of Vision in action

 Thanks to Nesta, Nominet Trust and Mozilla for supporting us to develop these first of many resources!

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