Thursday, May 15, 2014

Computer programming under way at Grant K-8

Kids are engaged in "physical computing" in an after school program at Grant K-8 in Mission Hills.
Grant School
Led by teacher John Snyder, a group of students in grades 4-8 has been involved in an after school club every Wednesday where they are learning to program simple computers, called Arduino. Besides learning how to write their own code, the kids help each other learn basic electronics skills.

So far this year, a broad range of students have learned to write and upload simple code, how to modify variables and how to program simple mathematics functions in their Arduino, a simple self-contained microprocessor, or computer, that can be easily programmed do gather data from sensors, other computers or even the internet, and output digital signals that can control a huge variety of electronic and electrical devices.

They have used code to control LED’s colors, blink patterns, and blink rates, to make musical notes and sounds, interact with light sensing devices and even drive small servo motors.
What is physical computing? It is using computer processors to interact with the world through various electronic sensors to control motors, LEDS, and other devices to actually do something. Physical computing is basically Robotics 101.