October 16, 2019

EU Coding Trip

On Tuesday 15th October, as part of the UK EU Code Celebration Event, Year 7 students attended Rutherford Appleton Laboratory to take part in a range of Computer Science and Computational Thinking activities.


From learning about coding, to programming a robot, to building marshmallow and spaghetti structures, Year 7 explored the endless possibilities around STEAM.


To begin the day students were excited to be shown around the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Space room, home to research into particle physics, scientific computing, laser development, space research and technology.


Here students participated in a stop motion animation activity presented by the mobile network 3, as well as having the opportunity to explore some of the Space exhibit items, including part of the control panel that was used in the Apollo space missions and a land-based satellite, used to plan work arounds for the copies that were in space!


Year 7 even worked with images sent from Mars, learning how to decode the information and turn it back into the original image.


The group were then challenged to take part in three space tasks regarding Mars; programming a robot to traverse a maze and think about algorithms, building the tallest radio tower (out of marshmallows and spaghetti) so that radio transmissions could go further and finally to consider the engineering and design implications of the materials they were using.


A favourite challenge amongst students proved to be the Lego Mindstorm coding challenge, whereby students had to work out what inputs and outputs the robot would need to traverse a black line using the colour sensors on the robot and then to drive over lines and get the robot to count how many lines there were.


Student Elliott said “I really enjoyed it. My favourite part of the day was the Lego Mindstorm session. I really liked it because we actually got to code something and test our robot to do different things.”

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