Message into Space

I run an after-school code club, which is attended by pupils from a few different year groups. I am impressed by what a team of four girls have achieved (aged 11-13). They’ve written code in Python that will run on a Raspberry Pi in the International Space Station (ISS) next year. It sends a message to the astronauts and gives a reading from the temperature sensor. They were limited to a 30 second run-time and the video below shows an emulator of the final output. That’s amazing! They get a certificate showing exactly where the ISS will be in orbit when the code runs. Next year we’ll be getting a physical device to program and actually send into space! We’ll be able to hold something that will actually go into orbit! If you are interested in doing this project, it’s called the Mission Zero.

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Micro:Bit Code Sample

The Micro:bit website is an awesome place to start learning to code. You can create your own programs such as a digital compass through to mini-games. I’ve included an example here. It’s very simple and the Micro:bit has a lot more capabilities that can be used (compass, radio, bluetooth, accelerometer etc.)

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A picture of lilies and a weeping willow.

Exercise, Ducks, Disasters

I’ve still got a few kilos to shed but I’m not supposed to go to the gym when my muscles are still recovering so bike ride it is. By the time I persuaded myself to go after a Sunday morning routine of coffee, breakfast, gardening, reading (currently Norman Doidge – The Brain that Changes Itself), it was nearing midday so my options were limited to places a bit more local. When I search the Web for cycling routes, most that are presented are for road cycling but I have a mountain bike. I resorted to just opening up a map, scanning the area for green patches and found Rother Valley Country Park. I’m sure I’d been there before in my childhood. It’s a water activities centre and the picture of someone mountain biking on the homepage and the 20 min. drive there convinced me it was worth a visit. It’s a very well-maintained park but I wouldn’t describe it as picturesque. It’s family-oriented with a nice paved path running around the lakes. I found myself weaving in between toddlers on training bikes and all the geese flocking to the families doling out bread. Why are people still feeding bread to[…]

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