03 February 2007

plockton part 2

ok. so. a more thorough discussion of plockton.

as i mentioned, the students didn't quite manage to finish. but despite this, they all were excited to take their machines and work on them to get them to work, even without me around. jamie kean has a great area and is a good teacher... i think he has the right mindset about what works for the kids. it was the first workshop, so i was a bit nervous.

the kids were mostly first year (12 years old). i was a bit nervous at the start. taking charge in front of a group of kids is something i definitely need practice at. the kids seemed to have good ideas as to what to do, and definitely things that were feasible, but they seemed to have trouble figuring out how to make things move. also, kids seem to be on the whole more concerned with making things look nice before trying to get it to work. i don't know if that's because it's easier or because they want it to look good before trying to get it to work... something along the lines of make the parts right before putting them all together.

the laptops didn't work with the gogo boards. we had USB to serial converters, but still the computers wouldn't communicate with the board. and with only two hours for the workshop, i didn't really have time to figure that out (i hadn't recieved the laptops until that day). so... i gave them a basic program to run the motor with a touch sensor to turn the motor on. not ideal in the least... but... triage?

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