Making things move

On Friday, Shine started off the day with mousetrap cars. The students seemed to enjoy putting all the pieces together, and we just so happened to have duct tape that matched the colors of each time (i.e. pink, yellow, green, and blue). Emily sacrificed a pen to show the students what would happen if someone’s finger got caught in the mousetrap. I think that demonstration sufficiently scared the students and made them work more cautiously.

Once everyone had a working mousetrap car, we raced them. I even drew a makeshift checkered flag, green flag, and a diagonally divided black-and-white flag. In case anyone is interested, a diagonally divided black-and-white flag is used to indicate a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, at least according to Wikipedia. I felt super cool waving around my flag, but I think Emu and Emily carried their flags just to appease me.

The next activity was nail art. We passed out cork boards, nails, and thread to all the students and let them make whatever they wanted. It was a nice laid back activity for a Friday, and most of the students seemed to enjoy it. Some people even drew their design on a white piece of paper, cut out the design, and used it as a template for their nail art.

After lunch, we revisited the robot activity from the day before, except instead of running a hard-coded robot dance, we had the students write a program that allowed them to remote control their robots using their phones. The library is called BlueDot, and it’s actually super easy to use. I definitely encourage you to check it out if you ever want to control your Raspberry Pi using Bluetooth. The biggest struggle we faced with this project was making sure that all the students connected to the correct phone because many of them had the same name (e.g. Nexus 5). Emu got around this by renaming people’s phones.

Fun fact: Emily’s phone is now called “Sophia,” and my phone is now called “Billy and Daniel.”

After this activity, Emu asked one of our students who originally wasn’t a fan of our programming projects if he liked computers now, and he said “yes,” although begrudgingly. I still consider that a success.

To celebrate completing our first week of teaching, Emu, Emily, and I went out and ate a lot of delicious food. Shine is Miss Popular and has plans with other friends this weekend, so, unfortunately, she didn’t join us.

We also did a quick Daiso and Artbox run, and I made some purchases to add to my growing collection of Boss the Shark items. No shame.

More Boss the Shark

That’s all for now folks. I’m about to leave for a pottery excursion with Emu and Emily, so stay tuned for updates.


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