#ThisGirlCodes: Do robots dream of Bolsover Castle?

Our recent collaboration with Junction Arts had the fundamental aim to inspire a young generation of creative digital makers. Under the theme of connecting landscape and technology, this group of Y5 children engaged with digital experiences to connect, explore and imaginatively share the physical heritage around Bolsover, in Derbyshire.

Embracing Bolsover Castle as a learning environment, and with innovation as another strand, the children engaged with heritage to create digital lanterns. Storytelling activities were based on local Masque Balls of yester-.year.

Bolsover castle

Young makers built and illuminated their willow lanterns with Codebug and Colourstar, ready for their collaborative pieces greeting all visitors of the Bolsover Lantern Festival to the Castle on the evening of the parade.

Artist demoing how to make a willow lantern structure in front of class of school children

Introduction to lantern design and construction with willow and reeds.

child constructing willow lantern

First team building challenges accomplished.

2 children making willow lantern

Coding the sequence of lights to create a digital storytelling piece using local heritage as the focus.

3 children testing lights under paper in front of laptop

Time even to share and evidence progression of programming with other teachers at school, and lend a bit of student voice to support more computing activities across the curriculum.

train the teacher coding in front of laptop

Design Challenges:

Willow Lantern with Codebug

Next stage glue :)

finished lantern structure waiting for glue

More glue!

gluing a paper lantern

Final testing before castle installation:

Lit up lantern on classroom table with code tested

Powerbanks for external display

Bolsover Lantern Parade on Saturday 25th November 2017:

Removing barriers: Exploring meaningful data projects with The Internet of Curious Things

The Internet of Curious Things is our programme of inclusive and accessible projects that give everyone a chance to explore data and connect communities. With or without previous digital making or coding experiences. That's the important bit that we take to everything activity we plan.

Development of hardware and software allows the focus to be more on creative problem-solving and empowering people to be changemakers in their own communities.

block code to collect environmental data

Sensor nodes can be programmed in Python or via drag and drop blocks, so primary aged children who have used Scratch as a programming environment in school can immediately transfer skills. Also, by providing access to other people’s projects, new users can explore already working code and then adapt and remix the lines of code for their own applications.

Smart citizens of Leeds recently innovated with more 'Internet of Curious Things' projects as part of a collaboration with Leeds Libraries and The Ada Show.

workshop room at leeds library internet of curious things workshop

Participants brought along varying levels of coding experiences, with the whole group embracing the possibilities of The Things Network and the concept of the internet of things to build their own inventions.

adult coding to collect data

It was also a great opportunity to share the expansion of infrastructure and exciting possibilities with the Things North communities spanning the north of England, sparking new ideas and talking points.

adults checking out things network global map

More information about Things North on the link below:

Increasing participation of girls in STEM

When The Ada Show performed at Leeds Central Library on 14.11.17, 75 KS3 students from 5 of the city's schools were invited and inspired by the actions and innovations of Ada Lovelace in the nineteenth century.

The morning session gave an opportunity to lead an 'Internet of Curious Things' workshop with a group of students from the Co-op Academy in Leeds.

They took the connection of wearables and lights from Ada Lovelace's dress to consider twenty first century applications of a more connected world and the internet of things. Read about their experiences on the day below:

Blogpost from Coop academy in leeds about visit to Ada Show with student workshop

The group explore more about the first complex algorithms and got to grips with the engineering behind the Analytical Engine, through a practical activity using string and brain processing!

Ada Lovelace demonstrating Analytical Engine with audience and string

Inspiring Young Engineers alongside Ada Lovelace

Brilliant to be working with the team delivering The Ada Show Tour across libraries in the north of England, and supporting their engaging workshop programme.

Actor dressed as Ada Lovelace stood with 3 adults

We've collaborated on the planning of sessions such as 'Dynamic Circuits' and provided the technology to support wearable activities using Codebug.

Girl showing a Codebug wearable controller in front of her face

The Ada Tour visited Leeds Libraries on 13.11.17 and we were delighted to facilitate the workshops and inspire this new generation of computer scientists.

two books from a library coding collection, Ada Lovelace and intro to coding

During the 'Dynamic Circuits' activities, children from a local primary built paper circuits with electric paint and copper tape to create their own lightbulb moments to share with others at home.

4 pairs of hands creating paper circuits

Using circuitry as the building blocks to further projects, the group went on to explore the circuits built into Ada's dress as they watched the show and have further computing projects planned with the library team.

2 examples of leds lighting on a paper circuit

Intrigued by the performance? You'll find a video introduction here.

Actor performing as Ada Lovelace in front of a class of primary school children

Wearable Wonders at the launch of Huddersfield Girl Geeks: Bright Lights and Smart Projects

We had a blast at the launch of the Huddersfield Girl Geeks community on 14.10.17, and took along challenges from our 'Internet of Curious Things' programme for a hands-on session.

Girl coding on a laptop at Huddersfield Girl Geeks launch event

The group made connections with the local environment, and used sensors to collect data and visualise through creative lighting displays.

Image showing 20 participants coding on laptops at a workshop to launch Huddersfield Girl Geeks

The workshop was focused on teamwork to launch new inventions, with connected health, home, car and smart city projects shared 🙌

Girl looking at the LED ring that she's coded to visualise envrionmental data at the launch of Huddersfield Girl Geeks

Full photo gallery here.