Please read our student and staff community guidance on COVID-19
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Sensing Our World

Workshop Content:

Our 'Sensing Our World' workshop is all about exploring the interaction between hardware and software. The workshop focuses on the use of Scratch and the Scratch sensor boards. These boards connect to the computer and have a variety of sensors; they can detect light and sound, and also have a slider and push button. The sensors make it easy to become more interactive with Scratch, and allow for even more creative ideas. Examples children have created include fish which change their colours depending on light, and a sun which rises and falls based on the slider, to name only two.

The 'Sensing Our World' workshop and resources were presented at the Scratch@MIT conference, MIT, Boston, July 2012. You can also check out our Scratch resources and Scratch Sensor resources.

Workshop Format:

The workshop typically starts with a "follow me" style, where everyone follows an interactive demonstration from one of our volunteers. After each step in the demonstration, the class is encouraged to have a go themselves. Plenty of volunteers are on hand to help provide support, answer questions, and encourage creativity. Once the initial demonstration is complete, time is allocated for the class to explore Scratch and have fun!

Workshops usually work best when children work in pairs, to encourage teamwork and discussion, although individual work has also worked well in the past. This workshop can also be combined with the 'Programming by Stealth' workshop, for those who have never used Scratch before. Due to the added complexity of the sensor boards, this workshop is usually recommended for secondary school students.

Workshop Aims:

  • To encourage children to think about how software interacts with hardware.
  • To continue developing children's programming skills, through new and exciting projects.
  • To help children develop teamworking and communication skills.
  • To encourage logical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • To be fun and encourage children's interest in technology!

Workshop Location:

All our workshops are typically run at the school or organisation itself. As this workshop uses Scratch, access to computers for each pair or individual is required. Because of this, workshops usually take place in computer rooms. Scratch will need to be installed on these computers, although it is completely free. We can provide any support you need with its installation. We currently have a class set of sensor boards, which we will bring with us to all workshops. The boards should automatically install their drivers once plugged in for the first time, unless any restrictions are in place.

Workshop Length:

All our workshops are flexible, however the 'Sensing our World' workshop is typically 1 hour long. When combined with our 'Programming by Stealth' workshop, the workshop will typically last between 1 and 2 hours.

Find Out More:

To find out more about this workshop, please contact us. Alternatively, check our volunteer availability and book a visit. You can also learn more with the links below:

You do not have permission to access the remote content.