Physical Computing, Scratch, and Artificial Intelligence

Part One: Physical Computing using Microbit

This is a hands-on introduction to coding and computer science by way of making and design, using the revolutionary new Microbit microcontroller board, and Microsoft’s easy and powerful MakeCode block-based coding environment. They will learn how to write and upload programs, the electronics of sensors, batteries, motors, and bluetooth radio, and other devices, and how to interface these to the microcontroller. It is a project-based curriculum with a maker philosophy at its core; the idea is that by making physical objects, students create a context for learning the coding and computer science concepts.

Students can then apply their skills to solving a personally compelling real-world need. This course will be valuable for those students who want to create something new under our supervision after this class.

Part Two: Scratch Programming

With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.

Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.

Scratch is now the default programming language for Lego Robotics, AI, and other applications.

Scratch programs can be interfaced to the physical world using Makey-Makeys, Microbits, and other devices, as well as to the world of artificial intelligence(AI) using MakeBlock and Machine Learning for Kids.

Part Three: Artificial Intelligence(AI)

Using a variety of AI tools, including Google Teachable Machine, Pictoblox, and other tools, students will explore the fast-evolving world of AI, teaching computers to identify shapes, sentiment, sounds, poses, and other data, using this data to control programs and devices. They will also explore ethical issues around the use of AI, such as surveillance, criminal justice, role in political extremism, and facial recognition.