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Recommended Timeline: This timeline is based on an assumption of a program that meets with 15 students and one instructor for a six week summer session that meets for approximately two hours per day. Field trips and community projects may lead to more time being spent at various points during the six weeks.   A post describing the first 20 lessons of a T3 Alliance program can be found here.

Week 1. Getting started – This week is about introducing students to the T3 alliance program and setting the tone for how learning will occur within the framework of a growth mindset.

  • Day 1 – Pre evaluation and introduction to the T3 alliance lesson. Understand what types of projects will be worked on within the course of this grant. Introduction to fixed and growth mindset and engineering design process.
  • Day 2 – Designing and building a Brush Bot for competition. Students will gain an understanding of fixed vs growth and engineering design process. The competition is a fun culminating activity that engages the emotions of students in a positive way.
  • Day 3- Introduction to the Raspberry Pi, its history and the kinds of projects it has been used for. Assembling the Raspberry Pi computer boxes and getting to know the components provided in the kit.
  • Day 4 – Getting familiar with the Raspberry Pi operating system (Linux). Introduction to installed programs and the terminal window. Connecting to the network (wireless or with a LAN) and understanding the IP address and network protocols.
  • Day 5 – Networking with Minecraft for human and physical networking. Students collaborate to make something in world together and learn behaviors acceptable in a shared community.

Week 2: Interacting with your computer – This week students will be introduced to several programing languages. We begin with something familiar to most students, Minecraft, and learn to modify or “mod” the program with Python. Later, students will build basic programs with Scratch.

  • Day 1 – Coding unplugged activity – a sequence of steps for a desired outcome. Introduction to the “Application Program Interface” or API with Python and Minecraft. Python is an example of the code that runs in the back of many applications. Write and test simple python programs that affect the Minecraft game.
  • Day 2 – Introduction to Github – downloading a package of code to adjust a Minecraft world in exciting ways. Introduction to a library and specific python commands.
  • Day 3 – A build competition with Minecraft – This is a fun way to level up and work together as a team. Demonstration of Sense HAT (just teacher kit has one) in a Minecraft environment.
  • Day 4 – Block programing with Scratch – Loops and conditional variables explained. Animating a story and designing a game.
  • Day 5 – Interacting variables on Scratch. Reaction time game, Making a game with scratch that utilizes the keyboard and a timer to emulate a quiz show game.

Week 3: Introduction to GPIO Pins and basic physical computing – This week is about learning basic electromechanical circuits and setting up the Raspberry pi to use digital inputs and outputs.

  • Day 1 – Basics of electronics and wiring – Understanding circuits for small scale projects. Resistors, current, voltage, and how the pins on the back of the Raspberry Pi connect to the breadboard. Lighting an LED bulb on a circuit with a bulb and a button.
  • Day 2 – Using GPIO pins and Scratch – Light a LED using the GPIO Pins and Scratch. Make a simple traffic light system using multiple LED’s and code. Build a reaction time game with buttons and a time variable.
  • Day 3 – Connecting a Motion sensor with Scratch – Using the infrared motion sensor, build a simple detector to sound an alarm when motion is detected. Incorporate this with sounds, lights, and an animation. Have students make a 30 second video describing their project.
  • Day 4 – Introduction to Node Red – Learning to set up a basic flow diagram and turn an LED bulb off and on. Learn to sense a button push and utilize a switch node. Build a traffic light system.
  • Day 5 – Using a camera and other sensors with node red – Build a motion detecting photo booth using an infrared sensor and the camera. Using the LED ring in combination with the camera.

Week 4 – Sensors on a network and Design Thinking – This week will focus on utilizing the sensors provided in the kit and the various ways of managing the data that they can collect.

  • Day 1 – Node Red and sensors – Use Node Red to collect weather data using the DHT11 sensor, sense distances using the sonic motion detector, and control a servo. Research and share project examples that utilize these sensors.
  • Day 2 – Node Red and networking – Use Node Red to share control of a sensor device. Outputting collected data to a website. Practice setting up several Pi’s to broadcast data using to a dashboard using MQTT servers. When to use VNC and when to use SSH.
  • Day 3 – Design Thinking Overview – Understand the difference between wicked and discrete problems. Use the five steps of the design thinking process, empathize, ideate, prototype, and testing in order to address an example wicked problem.
  • Day 4 – Design Thinking applied, communication, resources, and deliverables – UB staff models a real local problem such as taking attendance at various events UB events. Teams empathize and move through the design process. Communication strategies, email etiquette and interviewing skills. Writing proposals to purchase supplies, and documenting progress.
  • Day 5 – Design thinking implementation and documentation – Time to work on UB project, ideate, prototype, test while maintaining communication with the client (UB staff). Create a short video describing the process and the product that was created.

Week 5 – National Design Challenge – This week students will be introduced to a National Design Challenge that will incorporate many of the aspects of Design Thinking and the various components included with the Raspberry Pi Kit.

  • Day 1 – National Design Challenge Live Google Hangout – The design challenge will be announced, the criteria will be presented for judging, and students will work as a team in order to submit the project for judging before the deadline. Students will be asked to address something that is common to students in UB summer programs.
  • Day 2 – Work day design challenge – Teams need to submit materials requests for proposals to UB Director and or staff for materials needed for challenge. Tips for creating an effective video to tell the story of a project.
  • Day 3 – Work day design challenge – Submission of project video by the end of day.
  • Day 4 – Field trip to nearby (carefully chosen) site for local project related to weather monitoring. Students work with community member and design a project that addresses an issue. On this day the first three steps of the Design Thinking process will be modeled – Empathizing with the community member, Defining the problem, Ideating on some possible solutions. The final part of the day will be writing the project proposal outlining materials needed for the next step – prototyping.
  • Day 5 – Build day for local weather related project – Prototypes will be built and tested. Field trip back to site for implementation with community member.

Week 6 – Local projects and planning for the year –This week students will see some real life situations in which the Pi Projects may be able to help. It may be possible to immediately work on some of the projects and go through solutions, it may also be necessary to order and make plans for regular the year.

  • Day 1 – Local stakeholders visit – Invite individuals from the community with projects ready for a solution involving Raspberry Pi’s. individuals share a bit of background and invite students to come see their problem, or else do a good job describing the problem. Empathize, Define, Ideate and turn in a proposal form for acquisition of materials. Documenting (filming) and budgeting.
  • Day 2 – Field trip to local project sites or work day. Prototype, Test and Implement
  • Day 3 – Field trip to local project sites or work day. Prototype, Test and Implement. Video editing.
  • Day 4 – Planning for a project over the course of the school year. Science fair project proposal form. How to get funding for a project – writing a mini grant.
  • Day 5 – End of summer session celebration. Winners of the National Design Challenge announced. Videos and discussion of design projects from previous week. Awards for Growth Mindset behavior and certificates of completion for coding with Raspberry Pi’s. Post Evaluation.
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