Creating an Automated House with the Microbit

cardboard doll house

This spring session we tried something a little different and hands on. Campers were on a mission to build their dream home and automate it using the Microbit. The focus was on providing a project based and camper led experience. Working in pairs, basic programming and physical computing concepts were introduced such as creating LED circuits, programming sounds for the doorbell, using a servo to make a fan and introduction to sensors as burglar alarms. The Microbit and blocky based programming IDE (pxt.microbit.org) served as a user-friendly platform for exploration. Continue reading “Creating an Automated House with the Microbit”

The Microbits Come to PS 93

a microbitZero Day Camp is happy to collaborate with PS 93 in Bed-Sty Brooklyn to present a 5 week after school CS introduction program using the Microbit. Physical computing is a great way to engage young learners and being to understand how computers and code can affect the world around them. The Microbit is a small computer which supports input connections using alligator clips and comes packed with multiple sensors. To learn more visit: microbit.org.

Continue reading “The Microbits Come to PS 93”

Zero Day Camp and The Campus in Brownsville

For almost a year now Zero Day Camp’s directors have been working with New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton’s office to contribute to the launch of “The Campus” technology and wellness hub centered in the public housing and community schools of Brownsville, Brooklyn. We are excited about The Campus, which has brought together key community organizations and local youth technology and media non-profits to work towards creating a high tech training and development center in one of the poorest and often neglected corners of New York City. Continue reading “Zero Day Camp and The Campus in Brownsville”

Tech2Learn: Bringing Technology Home

tech to learn iconAccess to hardware and internet are some of the more basic building blocks to developing CS skills. With these tools in hand, students can connect to experts and limitless resources. Many homes in our communities however, still do not have access to a computer or internet. Zero Day Camp is hoping to help close this gap with its newly founded Tech2Learn program.

Through the T2L program, we collect, refurbish, and provide hardware to our partner schools, who in turn provide the hardware to students, for home use. We also help connect students and families to available resources to free and low cost internet as well as other local resources for learning.

Zero Day Camp relies on donations from families, businesses, and other institutions in our community to make this work. To donate, please fill out the form available at this link.

It’s a Mad Lib Kind of Day

madlib iconThis week we worked with strings to create Thanksgiving Mad Libs. The starter project asks for a part of speech which is saved as a variable. Coders insert the variables into join strings blocks (aka concatenation). Check out the starter project here. You can also download the direction card here.

Fall 2016: Sessions 3 & 4

lamb drawingSession 3

This week, coders worked on creating music using Scratch beats and instruments. Three tasks were introduced and rotated:

  1. Recording sound and using pre-existing sounds
  2. Rhythm & beats
  3. Creating a song (Mary had a Little Lamb) with notes and using custom blocks for each measure. You can find a piano note/ number template at this link and the musical notes at this link.

Session 4

In week 4 we started working on new animations incorporating sound, movement, and costume changes. Story elements were discussed such as setting, characters, and story arc. Check out some of the shared projects at the Fall 2016 Studio.

Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

drawing of Ada Lovelace October 11th is Ada Lovelace Day so let’s celebrate! Ada is known by some to be the first computer programmer, born in 1815.  She was an avid mathematician and theorized about computer programs that could be used for purposes beyond mathematics. Her “computer programs” came decades before the  first computer known as the “Analytical Engine” which Ada had a hand in developing along with Charles Babbage. To find out more about this special lady, check out this video.