This week was a fun-filled, successful week of Piper computers!
Throughout the week, all of the students learned about hardware, software, and programming. From learning what a Raspberry Pi is and how it functions to learning how to create music using the Sonic Pi program.
The first day of camp consisted of the kids getting right to work on building their very own piper computers. Once the computers were up and running, the kids couldn’t wait to start on the Piper Code and Piper Universe adventure game.
Half of the class worked on building the units and playing Piper Universe, while the other half entered the world of Pipercode, where they learned to program their own games and devices using wires, buttons, and LED lights.
On day two, we introduced the concept of loops through a dance to warm them up. They danced along and reinforced the ideas by using loops in Pipercode. Later, many students were eager to progress on their Piper Universe games. They excitedly used the wires, buttons, switches, and breadboards extensively to fly through the levels.
On this day, students continued to wow us with their immense attention and interest to the games and coding.
On day three, we introduced parallel circuit wiring as a warm-up through a short demonstration. Several students completed the Piper Universe game and learned even more about wiring buttons, switches, and buzzers to their breadboards.
We then discussed digital citizenship, and what information should be kept private online. The students worked on a short packet together as a group during the discussion.
On the last day of Piper Camp, the students began by learning about Sonic Pi, a musical programming interface. We began with a warm-up where the students lined up, thought of a sound, then made their sound when pointed to. Students learned the “play” and “sleep” commands to play notes and rest between notes.
Students then continued to explore Piper Universe and Minecraft Pi worlds with the controllers they wired to a breadboard themselves.
We ended the week with a “Treasure Hunt” game where students were partnered up. One of them closed their eyes, and the other student gave them commands.
Overall, the students took with them concepts about circuits, electronic wiring, coding, commands, and the physical aspect of computing. The Play Piper approach wrapped the complex ideas presented with computer science into a fun, yet challenging, digital adventure.