The worksheets below have been developed as part of our involvement with the Scratch at MIT, Scratch in Barcelona, and Mozilla Festivals. They can be used to build and calibrate sensors for the Scratch Sensor Board (Picoboard). They are also delivered as workshops for local schools by the University's Technology Volunteers.
To use these resources, you'll need to have:
- Scratch software, download it free of charge from scratch.mit.edu
- Scratch Sensor Board (or picoboard) with the driver installed (manufactured by SparkFun)
The sensor boards provide a means of challenging the notion that computer interfaces are only keyboards and monitors. Young people are already familiar with other interfaces for example to mobile phones and game consoles. Being able to explore alternative inputs to a computer via the scratch sensor boards and develop applications opens new avenues well within the reach of young people. It also poses other questions, for example, how can we improve the sensors, are they reliable over time? How and why do they fail? How can we build better ones? Exploring why things fail or don’t work is often a key to deeper learning and further development.