In the ever-evolving world of technology, computer literacy is becoming more popular and fundamental throughout our lives. With this in mind, pupils at Casterton, Sedbergh Prep School have the opportunity to launch into the world of coding in their brand-new robotics workshop. Pupils will develop an understanding of coding and how it is utilised by a variety of objects they see and use each day. From learning the theory and fundamentals of coding, pupils will then apply their knowledge into practice with numerous fun and challenging projects.
It is these future-proofing skills that Head of Design Technology and Engineering at Sedbergh Prep, Mr Ben Hammonds, builds into his lessons. With the opening of the new robotics workshop, this adds a third element to the cycle of the design technology work that Mr Hammonds leads. Using resources and tools in the design labs, pupils are encouraged to be creative with the design of their projects whilst applying the theory they learn in the classroom. Pupils then move on to implement computer science into their projects in the form of coding. Using the cleverly scripted “how to” guides, put together by Mr Hammonds, pupils follow instructions to help guide them to code their microchip. These small chips (micro:bit) can be coded for a number of different outputs and are used in a range of projects across different year groups. These include; traffic light systems, burglar alarms and a camera flashes.
Mr Hammonds passion and enthusiasm for DT&E is boundless and is driven by his desire to teach lessons that are interesting and appealing to pupils. “Introducing computer science and coding into lessons provides the opportunity for pupils to see an output for their actions in a physical form” explained Mr Hammonds. “With the sounds in the burglar alarm or the lights from the traffic lights, pupils can see a physical output from their work rather than seeing something on a computer screen”.
Children from several local primary schools have also had the chance to use the robotics workshop as part of the STEM Saturday courses offered each term by Sedbergh Prep School. They are currently designing, soldering and coding micro:bots, ready to take on a sumo-bot challenge at the end of March.