Computer games – some people like them and some people hate them (usually parents). However at Gastrells Primary School the students make computer games. These computer games have a difference, the student design them to teach Maths. The first project they undertook was the development of their own coordinate game. This was so successful that the students have volunteered to teach the whole class how to develop coordinate games. Furthermore, the school has gained some great homegrown resources.

The students create a game to explode alien invasion craft in space. They have to guess the coordinates and then if successful fire the rocket. The creation of this game teaches the following Maths:

·

Coordinates in 4 quadrants

Space Exploration Project 2

Level 5

Time : 1 hour

Beginners Scratch

The students create a game to move rocket launches along the y axis and program in a line to fire at the alien invasion craft. The students focus on the following Maths:

·x-y coordinates

·y = n lines

Space Exploration Project 3

Level 5

Time : 1 hour

Beginners Scratch

The students create a game where they have to shoot the aliens along an x = n line. The Maths used in this section is:

·Coordinates

·x=n lines

Space Exploration Project 4

Level 5 -6

Time : 2 hours

Intermediate Scratch

The aim of this game is rotating through 360 and shooting incoming spaceship. This is an introductory Maths Scratch project which creates a game to teach angle recognition. It teaches the following maths:

·Coordinates in 4 quadrants

·Rotation through 360 degrees

·The use of random functions to set game initial conditions e.g. random coordinates and random angles

Space Exploration Project 5

Intermediate level knowledge of Scratch

Level 6 -7

Time: 2 hours

Develop an Asteroid Game with an ability to shoot asteroids out of space. The students will program the game assets to:

·Set asteroids on a collision course with earth ( gradient calculations)

·Program missiles using y=mx+c

·Set assets randomly on y/x axis

This is a fantastic project for using and applying.

Space Exploration Project 6

Intermediate level knowledge of Scratch

Level 6 -7

Time: 2 hours

Develop a game to escape from a black hole. The ship is caught in a black hole and is being drawn (y=x^{2 }) into the centre. You have to capture frozen water to give you enough energy to escape raising you to new trajectories ( y = x^{2 }+ 1…). However if you capture non water mass you will accelerate your decline ( y = 2x^{2}).

·Learn the shape of the y=x^{2}

·Learn how it can be shifted in the form y = x^{2 }+ n

·Learn how it can be shifted in the form y = nx^{2}

Space Exploration Project 7

Intermediate level knowledge of Scratch

Level 7 – 8

Time: 2 hours

Develop a space travel program. This requires the student to cross vast areas of space using trigonometry to calculate distance and fuel usage. The maths taught in this project is:

·Trigonometry to calculate the hypotenuse

·Compound measures fuel/dist

·Algebraic substitution

Space Exploration Project 8

Intermediate level knowledge of Scratch

Level A to A*

Time: 3 hours

Develop a game to intercept incoming rockets and program another rocket to exactly meet the incoming missile. The intercept missile equation is different each time and so you have to find a generic solution for simultaneous equations. The Maths used in this project is:

·Simultaneous equations

·Algebraic fractions

·Pythagoras

· Speed distance time calculations

Space Exploration Project 9

Intermediate level knowledge of Scratch

Level A to A*

Time: 3 hours

Escape attack by creating a special evasion program using sin(x) and shifted nxsin(x+a)

This first resource is teaching Rotation and LOGO at Level 3 & 4. It brings the Programming and Maths side of the new UK curriculum together.

We are looking for a way of sharing our resources so that they are immediately usable by other educators. It is also an attempt to expand the boundaries of what can be done for free on Google drive. Any comments gratefully received.

I was really interested when I stumbled across this robot. This floor robot has the greatest functionality of all floor robots with an extension programming language which makes it suitable for KS5 work. I think this should be explored as a KS3 to KS4 programming challenge.

Here is the release video:

This shows you something of the visual programming environment:

However it does not do the system justice as a better description can be found on this blog

The Thymio II comes from those robot geniuses at EPFL Lausanne in Switzerland. It’s an educational robot designed from the ground up to be easy and fun to mess with for people with very limited (or no) previous experience in robotics. It’s also designed from the ground up to be cheap, at just about $100 USD. How is this possible, you ask? Apparently, there’s pretty much no profit margin or distribution cost, and all you’re paying for is the hardware and for some people to put it together for you into a working robot. Not too shabby. And this robot comes with a bunch of sensors and other goodies:

Yes, there’s a trailer hook. So you can stop worrying about that. And those “mechanic fixation” points are Lego compatible. To program Thymio II, you can use a nifty graphical interface, or a simple programming language called Aseba that’s similar to Matlab. And oh hey did we mention that this thing is open source from source code to hardware? ‘Cause it is.

Seriously, $100 seems very cheap for a platform like this. It’s cheap enough that a $1,000 grant could outfit an entire classroom with robots that are colorful, versatile, fun, and can be tackled with a GUI before graduating to writing code. There’s lots more info along with examples of what Thymio II can do in a wiki that you can check out here, and you can adopt one of your own at the link below.