Coding & Making in Portree High School

Wednesday 22nd March

For the past few weeks, two Technology classes in Portree High School, a small secondary school on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, have embraced the challenge of making and coding with the BBC micro:bit and Lego with some amazing results!

Before Christmas, the BBC micro:bit microsite set an open challenge to “create anything using the micro:bit and Lego” and we’ve seen some awesome entries from all over the world. And Portree’s no different – with their impressive line up, these Future Inventors show that the Skye’s the limit when it comes to creating with the BBC micro:bit!

 

 

Lego is a familiar sight in millions of homes, kindergartens, pre-schools and schools and loved by all ages. Versatile and capable of making very complex machines, Lego is one of the best tools to build with, using your imagination; from the little fingers creating first structures to intricate engineering masterpieces, Lego remains accessible and welcoming to all. These are just some of the reasons why we chose it for a BBC micro:bit challenge.

The class prepared for the BBC micro:bit challenge by schooling up on the basics, so were ready to flex their creative problem solving muscles and get making – not only with the coding of the micro:bit but also the making and design of the structure, which poses its own set of challenges.

Borrowing their Lego from the Learning support and Science departments, check out what the Future Inventors from the S1 Technology Class got up to:

PacMan games console


Ruairidh Hunter 1B, Hugo Lamb 1B and Anna Macpherson 1B

 

Coded so that the rotation of the device was sensitive and corresponded to the movement of the LED light, this awesome BBC micro:bit creation was designed similar to the Pacman game. You had to catch the dimmed LED light but had to avoid the flashing light otherwise you’d receive a “Game over” message and given a final score.

Stopwatch


Harry Lawson 1B and Jacob Fletcher 1B.

 

This super cool stopwatch would count seconds and could be prompted to stop and reset the time.

Virtual Pet


Aimee Urquhart 1B and Daisy Ross 1T

 

This happy little pet wouldn’t be happy if he was tipped over or left alone for too long and could display facial expressions for how he felt.

Spaceship


Radziej Rudak 1M

 

This intergalactic BBC micro:bit was programmed to show an animation of a spaceship firing missiles and attacking another spaceship.

Football Scoreboard


Calum Nicolson 1B, Nuan Nel 1T and Jamie Sinclair 1M

 

This neat scoreboard for football game uses a hat trick of BBC micro:bits where the scores could be kept by pressing the A/B button on the microbit.

Class teacher Kirsty Yoxon says they’ll continue to use BBC micro:bits in Technology class, and that “We will keep our eye out for more (challenges). I have a couple of students in that class who seem like little whizzes with coding:… and I would actually like to push them a little more to develop their coding abilities as they are already very competent and it seems necessary to see how far they can go.”

The class response to the making coding challenge? “They loved it”!

One student is even going on to design a felt surround so their awesome micro:bit looks more like a pet. And, as lovers of old crafts as well as high tech, this fills us with happiness.

Massive thanks to Kirsty and Portree School for being part of the growing Maker Movement, and for taking coding out of the screen, and into the physical world. Be inspired, get making, get coding!