sharing our class with the world!

Mapping our Mars Rover



I can design a map to represent the journey of my Mars rover


Go to the lesson where we learned about mars

Look at the maps- where will your Mars rover be going?

New Info/Application:

Using the coding you have done and your knowledge of the geography of Mars and where Rovers have landed/might land in the future, create a map showing where your rover will travel to present with your project. Try to use an appropriate scale. So, for instance, if your Edison is set to go forward 20 cm by a given block of code, how far might this be representing in reality on Mars for the Mars rover. Show this using a scale on your map. Show where North is and at least 1 or 2 landmarks.

Make an approximate map- you will have a chance to refine/publish this in following lessons

Combine the knowledge you gained from our mapping lessons and from our Science lesson about Mars rovers when you create your map

Goal reflection:

Share your map with another group- can they work out where your rover is going and how far it will travel.




 I can design what my rover will do



Explain what this code made the Edison do in a simple few sentences/ what was it representing as a ‘Mars rover’?



What the Edison did:

The Edison moved forward, turned left then moved forward again. It turned both of its LEDs on and waited. If it heard a clap it sent an IR message. If it didn’t, it sent a different IR message. Then it waited for 20 seconds. Then it went backwards, turned left and went forwards, returning to where it came from.

What it represented:

The Mars rover came out of its space capsule and travelled to where there were rocks suspected of having water traces. It fired its lasers. If it heard the explosion of water vapour, it sent back a message that there was water found. If it didn’t sense the explosion, it sent back a message saying no water was found. Then it waited and returned to the space capsule.


Create:  design products or processes to meet specific needs

  1. I describe something that could be better- the way a Mars rover might work on Mars
  2. I tell what it should be- design what your Edison will do
  3. I make a model- the Edison with program
  4. I listen to others tell me how to make it better-test/debug & get feedback
  5. I make it better-get feedback, debug and make improvements
  6. I publish or produce it

 New info

Protocode is when you explain in English what you hope your code will do. It is usually written in steps/instructions/procedural language. It is the English language version of the programming algorithm.



Today, you should plan what you want your Edison to do and write 2 versions of protocode. 1 will say what the Edison will do, and the other what it represents your Mars rover would do. Discuss and plan as a group together, then write separately. Remember the clearer the individual steps, the easier it will be to convert to EdScratch code/

Share your versions when you are all complete, and combine them to make your published version that you should publish on your blogs and email the link to your teacher.


Goal reflection:

What aspects of your protocode did you all have in common? What were some differences? What will be the easiest/hardest parts to convert to EdScratch?

posted under digitech, space | No Comments »

Beginning our Rover design



I understand what I need to know to begin designing my Mars rover


What ideas for tasks for your Mars rover could you get from these videos?


New info/Application

Thinking skill: Create:  design products or processes to meet specific needs

  1. I describe something that could be better- the way a Mars rover might work on Mars
  2. I tell what it should be- design what your Edison will do
  3. I make a model- the Edison with program
  4. I listen to others tell me how to make it better-test/debug & get feedback
  5. I make it better-get feedback, debug and make improvements
  6. I publish or produce it



What are different things that Edison does that could stand in for things the rover does? …BRAINSTORM A LIST IN THE FIRST COLUMN OF A TABLE



Make correlation-Match the things that Edison does with tasks the Mars rover might do in the second column


Design-You can model any part of Curiosity’s real tasks or your own idea of what it or a future rover could do- see lesson 2

  • You need steps designed for what it will do- PROTOCODE (procedure/ instructions/algorithms/flow chart/steps)
  • You need to code your Edison
  • You need to test/debug your code
  • Rover should move
  • You need to share your code using the ‘share’ function on EdScratch
  • You need a map of the area you want it to move through. Your map should show where the rover will go and what it will do. You could include a scale on your map and make a grid representation and give co-ordinates for locations it goes
  • You need a design for your mars rover ‘skin’ connection to maths lessons nets/tessellation
  • You need to present your Edison project


Possible ideas-

  • follow a specific path modelled on Curiosities past/possible future travels
  • Design a way for Curiosity to get to a certain place even if there are obstacles in the way
  • Design a way curiosity could go into a cave and out again
  • Send messages back to earth about something it finds
  • Pick up something (take samples)
  • communicate with another rover and tell it to meet it
  • Opportunity rover recently powered down when its solar panels were covered in dust from a dust storm- could Opportunity (or the next rover sweep the dust off?)


Goal reflection:

Our ideas for our Edison Rover are for it to…..

Explain why this task(s) would be important.


posted under digitech, space | No Comments »

Sending infrared signals with an Edison


Related image


I can program an infrared message with an Edison


How does a remote control work?

What messages need to go between earth and a Mars rover?



New info/Application:

The IR (infrared) function on Edison could be used as a model for the way a Mars rover sends and receives messages.

Show my flag example:

What can you come up with?

Brainstrorm possible messages that could be sent between Edisons that would represent information a rover might want to send

Goal reflection:

Am I going to use the IR function in my coding of my Mars rover model? If so, what might it be, if not, why not?

posted under digitech | No Comments »





I can identify the inputs and outputs on Edison and make a simple program that makes them work



In a computer system, inputs are defined as parts or places where information or messages can enter the system.

Outputs are defined as parts or places where information or actions can exit the system.

On a computer- what are the inputs (ways to put information IN to the computer)? What are the outputs (ways the computer can send something OUT of itself)?



Inputs- keyboard/ mouse/usb/Bluetooth/wifi….

Outputs- screen/speakers/printer/Bluetooth/wifi

Both input & output-usb


New Info/ Application:


Inputs: parts or places where information or messages can enter the system.

Outputs: parts or places where information or actions can exit the system.


Look at your Edisons & the diagrams from lesson 1 & and identify all the inputs/outputs of an Edison






Inputs: Infra red/ obstacle detector/ cable/ light sensors/ sound sensor/buttons

Outputs: moving wheels/ lights (LEDs)/ beeping/Infra red

List them and identify which ones you are already familiar with how to make work, and which ones you are not sure how to get to work

Explore how to get them to input or output using coding on edScratch (log on to your account)-expert students (Fin, Hamish T, Hamish C, Callum) should move around room to share knowledge/ students should explore edScratch & turn various sensors on & create and program simple code that demonstrates as many input and output functions as possible.



They should be separate stand-alone code as simple as this:


which would prove knowledge of that output (wheels drive).

Each separate coding sequence should activate 1 type of input or output.

How many can you achieve?


List what you have managed to find out & what you are yet to find out

Goal reflection:

What might different inputs and outputs be models for if we are creating a Mars rover model?




e.g- driving could be driving/ IR could be sending or receiving messages from earth/ LEDs could be lasers…..

posted under digitech | No Comments »

Digitech/Science Lesson 9- Combining Scratch and Makeymakey



I can make code in Scratch that communicates with Makey Makey


Venn diagram comparing Scratch & Makeymakey

New Information:

Make groups of 4 (note-these will NOT be the groups for your project).

Watch videos & take notes:

Group 1:

Quick paper circuit video

How to make a #DIY switch w #makeymakey for Interactive Room Challenge! #makered #makerspace

A post shared by (@makerteacherlibrarian) on

Group 2:


control a Tesla:


Group 3:


Group 4:

many projects:

interactive display:


Group 5:

media centre controls:


Group 6:


game controllers:


pressure plate switch:

interactive story telling:


Name 5 different things you could do with a makeymakey and scratch

Create code for your makeymakey to make a sound/ to answer a question/ to move an animation-make it work with your makeymakey

Extension- can you use code to make your makeymakey be an OUTPUT rather than an INPUT?


Goal Reflection:

What sorts of solutions could be created by joining scratch with MakeyMakey?

posted under digitech | No Comments »

Digitech/Science Lesson 7 Introduction to coding



I understand how to use simple coding language and techniques


List things that computers can do

Looking back on our binary lesson- what is binary?

New Information:

– discuss- what did you find interesting?



Most websites, games and applications that they use today are developed with this thing called ‘code’…

Image result for coding

These steps are called…..





computer coding is a type of communication that turns binary into more complex commands. It uses simple language/words (as we discovered in our algorithm lesson).

Computer ‘brains’ are a lot simpler than our brains (at present) and cant deal with the intricacies of our style of language. So we use simpler language with much less variety of possibilities and subtle differences- but still can do AMAZING things- the things we listed in our APK

HTML code (Hypertext Markup Language) is the coding language used to create websites-we can expose this coding on any website ……let’s try here! (OPEN UP ‘DEVELOPER TOOLS)


Go to -have a look-what is unusual?

This has been changed by changing the html script/code using a site that does this-


What are some examples of coding languages used to program computers?


  • HTML for websites
  • Javascript
  • Java
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • C++

We will be looking at SCRATCH which is block coding-it hides the script version of the code in blocks that are easy to put together.

For our project in later weeks we will combine Scratch programming with external devices to design a solution to a problem.

If you are working at a level where you have mastered SCRATCH  before you can choose to explore other coding options to communicate with the devices we supply.


discuss block code components

Here are some examples:

And here’s my version:

what’s changed?-‘look inside’

show how simple the code can be:


or how complex- pacman


Go to:

Choose your level of competency and look at videos

Create a game or animation or quiz with a partner on SCRATCH

Starting points:


Here are some extension options for those who want to take their investigation further:


Watch these video tutorials to create SCRATCH programs:

other forms of coding: (this will be looked by yr 5s at during the hour of code in December) – to look at html coding -Ant’s class is created here ready for you to explore-click sign in-choose ‘student’, and get your login details from Ant


Goal Reflection:

  • What are three coding examples you can explain?
  • What are some technical words or acronyms we use in relation to coding (and what they mean)
  • What was something you found easy?
  • What was something you found challenging?
posted under digitech | No Comments »

Digitech/Science Lesson 6- What is a CIRCUIT?


Related image

Image result for funny circuit diagramGoal:

I understand how to make and draw a circuit, and explain how it works.


Discuss your drawings of torches from yesterday- what are pros & cons of the drawings


New Information 1:


So…how is an electrical circuit created?

A circuit needs 3 parts-

  • a cell to give energy,
  • a conductor to conduct the energy,
  • a resistor/load to use up the energy- What are some types of resistors?light bulb, bell, buzzer or motor


When you connect the negative end of the cell with the positive end using a conductor (wire) and have a resistor/load in the middle, you have a complete circuit. Electricity will only travel in a current if the circuit is complete and has no break.


A ‘cell’ contains chemicals. When the chemicals in the cell react, they release energy. This energy gives the electrons in the atoms at the negative end (electrons are negatively charged) an energetic ‘push’.

This energy is carried around the circuit by the electrons to the resistor where the electrical energy is changed into another form of energy, such as light, sound, heat or movement.

The current of electrons then continues having lost its extra energy, through the circuit to the positive end of the cell.

The circuit can be repeated over and over as long as the chemical reaction continues.

Electrons flow through a circuit and are not consumed. It is the electrical energy they carry that is changed into other forms of energy, such as heat and light; nothing is used up or consumed, just changed.


When a torch switch is turned on, it completes the electric circuit, making a complete path for the electrons to flow around.


If you don’t have a cell you have no energy to start things going …..

If you don’t have a conductor, you don’t have anything for the energy to travel along to complete the circuit …..

If you don’t have a resistor, the energy created in the cell doesn’t get used up-if this happens then the energy will come out as heat in the conductor and burn up!-this is called a ‘short circuit’– and is the major cause of electrical accidents …..

You can have many of these parts-many cells (becoming a ‘battery’)/ many conductors- wires in many parts of the circuits/ many resistors – such as a series of lights or lights and buzzers etc

Vocab: electrons, circuit, positive and negative terminals, battery/cell, switch, movement, light and sound resistors, conductors and insulators, chemicals, chemical reaction, current short-circuit

more information available here if students want to clarify or research further:


Discuss and make connections to the role play- what parts were what?

Application 1:

Draw a circuit from the demonstration and explanation

New Information 2:

Scientists use a series of symbols to represent the parts of a circuit- why do you think they do this?

Show symbols (students paste in books):

Discuss open/closed switch & difference between cell & battery.

Discuss what voltmeter & ammeter might measure. (not needed at this level)


Look at these 2 diagrams- T&T- what are the similarities & differences

Which do you prefer? why?

Which do you think scientists prefer? why?

It is important to draw circuits with clean straight lines, as shown in diagram B. Scientists avoid realistic sketches like diagram a-why?

Application 2:

Student review their cutaway diagram of how a torch could work from the last lesson and update or redraw this diagram to include what they now know, such as names/symbols of parts and the need for a complete circuit for the torch to light.


Share & discuss










Application 3:

Introduce snap circuit sets. Show how the symbols for the items are ON the items. Show how they snap together and the many possible circuits that can be created.

In groups of 3 or 4, students should make a circuit using circuit items available.

Once made, students should draw a technical diagram of their circuit using the symbols they have learned. They should give it a title saying what it does. (Students should have labeled the basics – cell/battery, wires, item that uses power/switch)


Circuits should then be tested and troubleshot if necessary

If there’s time, students can make another circuit


Goal reflection:


3 important facts I remember

2 connections I made during the lesson

1 question I still have

posted under digitech | No Comments »

Digital Technologies/ Science- Lesson 5: What is electricity?



I can clarify my understandings about how electricity works


  • Riley turned on the computer.
  • When Barry shuffles his feet on the carpet, his hair gets crazy and stands up.
  • I need to charge my phone.
  • Lightning struck during the last storm.
  • The engineer wired the circuit board.
  • A lot of power is made in the desert using solar panels.
  • After Cameron slides down the slide, he can shock you.


What do all these sentences have in common?


We use electricity every day, but you may not know what it is, how it works and how we can control it. So that you understand electricity, this lesson will build on the science you already know, such as energy, the parts of an atom and types of materials.

How many of these sentences involved an engineer or engineered technology?

Everyone, take a moment to write a sentence that relates engineering and electricity?


New Information:

watch & take notes- discuss & clarify:

What is electricity?

Write down any questions you have.

Demonstration with plasma globe & light ….

electricity demonstration

get predictions before and explanation after-why does this happen?

What are the connections between the 2 videos’ information?


In circle students grouped in pairs- objects arranged in centre.

Teachers to switch on as many of these objects.

Students to record responses to questions, such as:

  • What does the device do?  What makes it go?  How does the device work?  Where does it get its energy from?

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of batteries and battery-operated devices.


Write down any questions you have.

Students are to imagine that they can see inside the torch and draw in their book a cutaway diagram of what they think they would see.

A cutaway diagram includes a title and a drawing showing what the inside of the object looks like. It includes labels with lines or arrows to indicate the feature.


Goal reflection:

Share observations about the workings of different electrically–operated devices and record at least one question for further investigation.

Share with partners.

posted under digitech | No Comments »

Digitech lesson 3-Binary!



I understand the counting system of binary and why computers use it.


WHAT ARE CODES? Name some- explain them to your partner

What’s the point?

New Information:

Quickly review meanings of data and information.

Binary is a way to communicate data & information when the only thing you can do is switch on or off- so it’s not a code to keep things secret, but one that makes use of a the limited capabilities of a computer- basically all it can do is switch on or off (Lucky it can do it AMAZINGLY QUICKLY!)

So….how does it work?

Take notes & discuss

Basically it uses a different place value system- instead of base 10 (where there are 10 different symbols and we move up to the next place value when we get to 10 times the value of a unit/one, and shifts a place value whenever it gets to 10 times bigger), Binary is a base 2 system-it only has two symbols (representing off-0 or on-1)

Watch this & discuss:

(mistake at 1:24- she means “1 X 2” not “1 X 1”)

Another explanation if you’d like:

What’s it all about?

Computers today use the binary system to represent information. It is called binary because only two different digits are used. It is also known as base two (humans normally use base 10). Each zero or one is called a bit (binary digit). A bit is usually represented in a computer’s main memory by a transistor that is switched on or off, or a capacitor that is charged or discharged. When data must be transmitted over a telephone line or radio link, high and low-pitched tones are used for the ones and zeros. On magnetic disks (floppy disks and hard disks) and tapes, bits are represented by the direction of a magnetic field on a coated surface, either North-South or South-North. Audio CDs, CD-ROMs and DVDs store bits optically—the part of the surface corresponding to a bit either does or does not reflect light. One bit on its own can’t represent much, so they are usually grouped together in groups of eight, which can represent numbers from 0 to 255. A group of eight bits is called a byte. The speed of a computer depends on the number of bits it can process at once. For example, a 32-bit computer can process 32-bit numbers in one operation, while a 16-bit computer must break 32-bit numbers down into smaller pieces, making it slower. Ultimately bits and bytes are all that a computer uses to store and transmit numbers, text, and all other information. In some of the later activities, we will see how other kinds of information can be represented on a computer.



For this activity, you will need a set of five cards, as shown below, with dots on one side and nothing on the other. Choose five children to hold the demonstration cards at the front of the class. The cards should be in the following order:

What do you notice about the number of dots on the cards? (Each card has twice as many as the card to its right.)
How many dots would the next card have if we carried on to the left? (32) The next…?
We can use these cards to make numbers by turning some of them face down and adding up the dots that are showing. Ask the children to make 6 (4-dot and 2-dot cards), then 15 (8-, 4-, 2- and 1-dot cards), then 21 (16, 4 and 1)…
Now try counting from zero onwards.
The rest of the class needs to look closely at how the cards change to see if they can see a pattern in how the cards flip (each card flips half as often as the one to its right). You may like to try this with more than one group.
When a binary number card is not showing, it is represented by a zero. When it is showing, it is represented by a one. This is the binary number system.

Ask the children to make 01001. What number is this in decimal?

What would 17 be in binary?
Try a few more until they understand the concept.

Make a binary table:


Cut out the cards on your sheet and lay them out with the 16-dot card on the left as shown here:

Make sure the cards are placed in exactly the same order.
Now flip the cards so exactly 5 dots show—keep your cards in the same order!-


represent this with a 0 when it’s blank and a 1 when there’s a number- so how do you write 5 in binary?

Find out how to get 3, 12, 19.

Is there more than one way to get any number?
What is the biggest number you can make? What is the smallest? Is there any number you can’t make between the smallest and biggest numbers?

Extra for Experts: Try making the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 in order. Can you work out a logical and reliable method of flipping the cards to increase any number by one?


Binary decoding game-

Next level up-

Goal Reflection:

What are some interesting things you noticed about the binary counting system?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using binary?

Share reflections

posted under digitech | No Comments »
« Older Entries

Report Cybersafety issues here-



Word of the day

Word of the Day


Definition: A rude expression intended to offend or hurt.
Synonyms: insult,

Class Blogs

Recent Comments

Subscribe By Email

Get a weekly email of all new posts.

This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Skip to toolbar