MicroMakers II: Hackathon Day
MicroMakers II finished with a bang. Coding Kids organised the MicroMakers II Hackathon to conclude the six-week program at Bulimba State School on Saturday, September 3. Student teams participated in the half-day event, where parents, teachers, mentors and volunteers showed their support as students presented their final projects.
The MicroMakers II program encouraged students to identify a community problem that they wanted to solve or a game that they wanted to design and build. A number of exciting projects came out of the students’ hard work and efforts. The technologies that were used included: Scratch, MaKey MaKey, mBot, Tinkercad and 3D printing.
The projects that were developed by the student teams were:
An emergency torch with a buzzer and light
Team: Joel & Toby
This project was inspired after the visit to the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision. A challenge was proposed to the students to solve to assist people who were lost in the bush. The student team designed a 3D design of a torch on Tinkercad. The design was 3D printed. The first 3D print was too small so the 3D design was adjusted and a new torch was 3D printed. The torch was connected to a Makey Makey with an LED and a Scratch program. The integration with Scratch allowed the students to include an emergency buzzer for the torch. The torch switch would turn on the light and the emergency buzzer to help the people who were lost in the bush to be found.
A vacuum robot prototype
Team: Andrew & Liam
The student team wanted to create a vacuum robot to help households to quickly clean the home before guests arrived. They built a prototype using an mBot robot and programmed the robot to navigate the floor, detect and avoid walls. A vacuum robot would consist of three parts: 1) Robot, 2) Vacuum, 3) AI software to control the robot’s movements. The student team focussed on developing the AI for the prototype robot.
A maze game and a 3D printed game controller
Team: Abby, Lola & Matilda
The student team built a multiple level maze game in Scratch. They used Tinkercad to create a 3D design of a game controller. The game controller was 3D printed and connected to a MaKey MaKey and the Scratch game.
The student created a 3D design in Tinkercad and printed a light cover. The light cover was designed to create interesting effects with the light. The light was build by attaching LEDs to a MaKey MaKey.
A shooting game
Team: Thomas and Angus
The student team built a shooting game using Scratch. The students learned complex coding concepts such as cloning objects and broadcasting messages.
TED – a Talking Entertainment Droid
Team: Lily & Hannah
The team wanted to create a robot for friendship and companionship. They built a robot using recycled materials such as a shoebox and toilet rolls. They connected the robot to a MaKey MaKey and a Scratch program, where the latter was designed so that the robot could tell jokes, stories, and comments.
The teams experienced real life challenges of using technology in presentations. Projects that were working perfectly during the term and at rehearsals did not necessarily work according to plan at the presentation. This added to the realistic experience of professional technical presentations.
The next steps
The student teams will be presenting their projects to their class to share their experiences with a wider audience in the next few weeks.
Well done to all the teams! I encourage you to continue developing your prototypes. This is only the beginning.