School Project

Cymraeg

Royal Society Project: Automating Greenhouses Using BBC Micro:Bits

The Ysgol Penrhyn-coch and Ysgol Penllwyn Federation successfully applied for a Partnership Grant from The Royal Society to undertake a project entitled:

How can Micro:Bits be used to understand and improve plant growth efficiency within an automated greenhouse.

The application relied on securing a STEM partner in research and/or industry. Our very own Dr Patricia Shaw, a Senior Lecturer, the head of our Intelligent Robotics Research Group, and winner of the UK-RAS Community Award 2023, volunteered.

With help and support from our Faculty Outreach Officer, Tally Roberts, we are adapting, developing, and delivering a variety of sessions over the spring and summer terms of 2024.

You can follow our progress here. For anyone interested in conducting a similar project, we have also provided links to resources.

Select a session heading to get started.

We visited both schools on Monday 15th of January 2024 to run an adaptation of our Introduction to Micro:Bits workshop.

Learning Objectives

Equipment

Resources

Sessions one and two of our online Micro:Bit Workshop Series include recorded versions of the same material in more depth. There are also additional exercises (with hints and answers) to consolidate learning.

We shortly hope to update our BBC Micro:Bit Programming for Educators webpage to include the newer version of the Makecode Classroom software.

The Makecode website includes a number of tutorials which guide users through how to create different programs.

The Micro:Bit Educational Foundation have created a selection of Micro:Bit Classroom Resources for teachers. Everything from lesson plans through to posters.

Technocamps have also produced resources to get learners started with the Micro:Bit with a selection of projects. Their resources are available to all school children in Wales through Hwb.gov.uk.

We visited the primary schools again during the week commencing 29th January 2024. For this session we ran a sensor circus activity.

Learning Objectives

Equipment

The Activity

After delivering the teaching material, we divided the class into 5 groups. Each group had a selection of different components, the relevant description cards, wiring diagrams, and the programs required to test them.

The aim is to match the component to the correct wiring diagram, then use the provided programs to test them, in the hope of then matching them to the correct description. After 15-20 minutes we moved the groups around the room to the next table and set of components.

We included 24 components and asked teams to identify them and record their results in a table.

We had a range of success between the teams - identifying between 3 and 16 components.

Resources

We would recommend learners first visit our Micro:Bit Series Session Four video and exercises. This will cover more information about variables and using the pins on the Micro:Bit.

There is no recording or online version of this material (yet). However, here is the Sensor Circus presentation we used to guide the talk.

The wiring diagrams and example programs we used, were adapted from Keyestudio's online guide for their 37-in-1 Starter Kit.

You can download our Answer Pack here. This combines the wiring diagrams with their description cards including additional information, and ends with the completed results table.

For additional material on electronics with Micro:Bits, you can visit sessions one to three of our Online Electronics Series. There is also an Educators Guide to Tinkercad available - this is the software used for our online electronics content.

We hosted this session on how to plan an experiment at both primary schools on Monday 5th February 2024.

This provided us the opportunity to give the class groups their plant-based experiment.

Learning Objectives

Equipment

Resources