Discover Sessions from #exabytes17
With over 30 sessions having taken place at our #exabytes17 education conference, we’ve been writing up the workshops that we visited to give you a look at some of the events you may have missed out on. In this post, we’re taking a look at the second half of the day - click through to see our writeup of the first #exabytes17 sessions.
Using Minecraft to Learn Python and Basic Electronics
Practically as popular in classrooms as it is with young learners, Minecraft is a video game built to allow the use of customised Python scripts to control a wide range of variables within the game world, from placing objects to altering properties. In one of his 3 great sessions at #exabytes17, Jon Witts explained how to combine basic electronics with Minecraft, letting students develop code with effects on both the real and virtual world.
Specifically, the program demonstrated in this session involved linking a Raspberry Pi up to a board featuring a light and button - whenever the button was pressed, a block of TNT was dropped, while a countdown printed to in-game chat, and the board’s light lit up. Jon has published a full set on info about the session, including worksheets, demonstration code and far more.
Getting Started with PyGame Zero
In a great session, Dan Aldred introduced PyGame Zero, a program that lets users quickly develop basic games using Python, creating engaging lessons which give students the motivation to understand how to expand their knowledge from the basic elements introduced in the lesson.
Attendees quickly created a basic game where they had to click on a moving image before it moved past a certain point, and then spent the rest of the session developing it in their own way - changing up speed, size, adding multiple elements, and far more. This introduction to PyGame Zero covers the same ground as Dan’s session, for those looking to start using the program.
MicroPython and Micro:bits
This dual session from Jon Witts and Chris Sharples took a look at a few of the different applications for the BBC micro:bit, and how to create Python scripts to make use of them, from basic LED control to using micro:bit to compose tunes via the built-in music function. Click through for the full presentation, along with a fantastic collection of micro:bit resources and demo programs to create and tinker with.