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9.48 MB | 27 pages
This is a set of 10 lessons that spans 2500 years of scientific knowledge.
It starts by looking at the concept of an atom (with a practical activity) and then examines the properties of electrons and circuits. Along the way, students do an experiment to show the difference between conductors and insulators, make static electricity and a very simple motor, and pose and answer the question " how can a circuit see?".
They make a paper model of a Harvard-architecture computer, and carry out the process of compiling a program (a sum) from source code (a poem), and then executing it (working it out on paper registers). Language and terminology is avoided - this course is about play, and is about "preconditioning" students at a middle school stage so that they have a reference framework when they study computer science later.
The course then shifts to the Arduino Uno platform, and we load and compile the simplest program "blink", from the samples supplied in the software. The difference for these students is that they play with the code - they change the frequency of the blink and use it to examine the difference between peripheral and central vision, and in doing so wonder about the evolution of vertebrate vision systems.
The students continue this musing on vision when they are challenged to change a program to clone the colour of a flower from the garden. An infinite number of colours, with just 3 types of cells in our eyes! Are all creatures like this? How can you tell if you are looking at a photo or a painting? Such musings are spread throughout these simple activities, and are designed to engender wonder and motivation to study science.
Finally, we wrap up the vision activities with a performance piece, and students use persistence of vision techniques to code up a message that they wave through the air.
This course comes as a 27 page pdf booklet, and a 4 page purchasing/lab technician guide. It is not a computer science course, and it is not just a science course - it is STEM.
I have run this course for over 5 years now, and I hope you enjoy it!