Bodgers – Pioneers Challenge Results

Hello again Everyone.

I didn’t realize when I posted yesterday that the results of the Pioneers Challenge were out today.

Here is the Raspberry Pi Blog post announcing the winners.

Congratulations to Barry, Kevin and Zack the Zombie Trolls whose project Zombie In The Middle won the We Appreciate What You’re Trying To Do prize. the following is a quote from the website.

“Playing piggy in the middle with zombies sure is a unique way of saving humankind from total extinction! We loved this project idea, and although the Zombie Trolls had a little trouble with their motors, we’re sure with a little more tinkering this zombie-fooling contraption could save us all.”

IMG_20170930_133533

Well done to the three boys and well done to all the Bodgers because all the Pioneers teams helped each other out, most importantly at the beginning when we were trying to come up with ideas for our entries.

See you all in January.

Declan, Dave and Alaidh

Bodgers – Making A Model Of A Heart From A Plastic Bottle.

Hi Everyone,

I don’t have any new notes from the Bodgers group as everyone is still preparing for the Zombie apocalypse. We will be filming the projects for our entries to the Pioneers competition next week so we will have a longer session than usual, we will finish at 3:30pm.

Here is a link to the experiment I was demonstrating for the Medtronic visit. In this video they use sandwich bags to make the valves but you can also use the straight part of a balloon or fingers from disposable gloves.

 

Here are instructions on how to make the stethoscope Malachy  demoed.

stet

See you all next week,

Declan,

Hackers – More 3D Modelling

Slide1

This week in the Hackers group, rather than demonstrating how to use SketchUo, we showed some models that Kevin/Michael had built (see above), and the challenge was to recreate them. Some people got so far as to be able to print their models.

We also started some planning on an overall theme – more on that next time.

Creators – Being Random

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 00.56.49

This week we mainly looked at three things:

  • How data is organised on your computer
  • Creating functions
  • Using randomness to make things interesting

Data Organisation

Most of us had heard of a hard-disk before. This is a stack of metal disks inside your computer. Each metal disk has a special coating made of millions of tiny magnets (like you might find stuck to the fridge) that can be turned on and off.11644419853_9499fa0faa_b

We saw that able to turn something on and off, like a switch, was enough to count from zero to one, but the more switches we added, the higher we could count. Two switches can count from zero to three:

Switch 1          | Switch 2          | Total (Add)
[Off = 0, On = 1] | [Off = 0, On = 2] |
------------------+-------------------+-----------
Off = 0           | Off = 0           | 0
On  = 1           | Off = 0           | 1
Off = 0           | On  = 2           | 2
On  = 1           | On  = 2           | 3

With enough of these tiny switches, we can store anything we need. Each of these tiny switches is also known as a ‘bit’ and a 1 terabyte hard disk has a billion of them!

We also saw that the files on your disk are arranged with folders (also known as directories). Folders can contain both files and more folders. This allow us to keep our hard disk organised; without them all our files would be in the same place which would be difficult once we had more than a few. The location of a file is called its “path”. Looking at the highlighted file on the desktop of my Mac we can see the full path would be:

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 22.19.59

/Users/kierancoughlan/Desktop/Ball and Bat Sounds.m4a

 

This means that, reading backwards, the file called ‘Bat and Ball Sounds.m4a’ is in a folder called ‘Desktop’ which is itself inside a folder called ‘kierancoughlan’ which is, at the highest level, inside a folder called ‘Users’.

Functions

A function is a collection of commands that do a job together. We’ve already encountered them, even if you hadn’t especially noticed:

  • Our P5 template already contains two functions called start() and draw()
  • All of the P5 commands we have used, such as createCanvas() and rect() are functions themselves

We could add all our code to start() and draw(), in fact, that’s what we’ve done before this week. That’s fine starting out, but it does mean, once there are a lot of commands in those functions, that our code is gets harder to read and understand. Breaking out a few commands into a new function and giving it a name that describes what it is doing, really helps.

Once we’ve written a function, it can be called as many times, and from as many places, we as need.

Functions can do one other thing too: they can give back a value to the place where they were called from. For this we use the special word return. For example, let’s see what a function to pick the largest of two numbers, we’ll call it Max(), might look like:

function start(){
    let a = 4;
    let b = 10;
    let c = Max(a, b);
}

function Max(n1, n2){
    if (n1 > n2)
        return n1;
    else
        return n2;
}

We give Max() the two numbers we are comparing. If the first one is bigger than the second, it gives back the first. Otherwise, if gives back the second. Note too that the names of the variables in Max() are different to those in start(), and that’s not a problem.

Random

Finally, we looked at the P5 function random(). We used it two different ways:

random(); // gives a number between 0...1
random(n); // gives a number between 0...n (where n is a number!)

In the first form, we used it to pick a random colour. In the second, we used it to pick a random position for our squares.

Files

As usual, all the code is on the creators github repository. Head there and download it!! The files for this week contain both the script we wrote (sketch.js) and a longer version that I wrote (sketch2.js). Feel free to take a look at both!

Explorers Week 4 – Help Bo Peep find her sheep

Hi everyone,

Great week again with huge crowds but thanks to our new room layout and a couple of Health and Safety issues sorted, I think it was a more comfortable and safe environment for everyone. Thank you to Niamh, Sarah, Roisin , Alan and Pete you came early and helped sort out the new layout.

This week, I helped Bo Peep found her sheep! Some of you did the same and some used ideas like Minecraft Steve finding Iron Ore and Diamonds, Knights finding dragons or a Princess finding flowers.

Before we even started our game this week we talked a little bit about File Management and about the importance of keeping your files somewhere you can access them quickly and giving them a meaningful name.

So to this end, we all created a folder where we will be keeping our files in the future and within that we had a sub folder for this weeks files.

We started our game by drawing our background on our stage:

Rather than use the sprites from the Scratch Library, we searched the internet using a image search for our Sprites.

This week, we decided to move our main sprite using the arrow keys. For this we had to learn a small bit about the X and Y axis and I gave you a little tip on how to remember which is which!

Hope you all enjoyed this week, next week we have a very small bit to finish off for this game and then we will start a new game!

Here are the notes for this weeks session in PDF CDA-S6-Week_04-BoBeep

Martha

 

CoderDojo Athenry Information Session, Sept 2017

1-CoderDojoAthenry-InfoSession-2017-Sept

Thanks to everybody who came along for our information session on Saturday 16 September 2017. You can find the overview presentation here: 1-CoderDojoAthenry-InfoSession-2017-Sept (PDF).

This year, we have 5 different rooms with different topics in them, for different levels of experience and age, as shown in the diagram below.

You can find out more, including the schedule of Saturdays that our dojo will run, on the About page of this website: https://coderdojoathenry.org/about/

We look forward to you joining us!

2-CoderDojoAthenry-InfoSession-2017-Sept