Hackerfemo’s Bangladesh Roadtrip: Introducing the Micro:Bit & Robot workshops over 12 days.

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Day 1: Bangladesh Roadtrip – setting off for Dhaka.

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Getting ready to fly to Bangladesh with mum

After a 14 hour flight we arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh, safe but very tired. Local time it was 4.40am in the morning but for us it was around 11.30pm. No problem getting all our electrics through (100 Micro:Bits, 10 Crumble Robot kits & 11 Robo:Bit buggies) but we did faced a very long wait at passport control.

Once getting through that we then met up with Luke and Kobir who are the founders of CAFFE (Computers are free For Everyone)  who are our main hosts whilst in Bangladesh. We drove to Steven’s house, a friend of Luke and Kobir. Here we had a lovely breakfast of fried egg and toast. Shortly after this, I began to feel ill because of all the food I’d had on the plane, the 14hr flight and, perhaps, the heat. After just a small rest we went out to a nice local cafe and met up with the Code Club Bangladesh’s Farhana Akter Chowdhury (head of Country Operation) & Mehnaz Sharmin Mohona (Project Manager) to organise our Code Club sessions and get to meet them. However we had to cut it short due to my jippy stomach.

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Coffee with Farhana & Mohona – Codeclub Bangladesh – not feeling great

After meeting them we went back and I had a ten hour sleep and woke up feeling fine and ready for the next day. Phew, back to top form again.

Day 2: Bangladesh Roadtrip – flying to Sylhet.

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Flying over Dhaka to Sylhet

After a ten hour sleep I felt much better and was now ready for our short domestic flight to Sylhet. We drove to the airport and got on the plane with Luke and Kobir.

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Travelling with Luke & Kobir

When we got off, I was very excited to see what CAFFE was like. So, after collecting our luggage, we met Kobir’s father and drove off towards the CAFFE base. As all of us were hungry, after our flight, we decided to get some food on our way. Can you believe it – we went to a KFC. When we finally arrived at CAFFE  we got a tour of the space and where we would be staying. We were amazed with how big and nice our room was. The school space is amazing too.

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Our room – even with Air-Con

Finally in the evening we ran a small ‘workshop’ with some of the volunteers where we made up the Robo:Bit’s so that we could use them straight away, already made up, for our Robot challenge.  This was our first workshop really. It went okay, except we realised that following the instructions exactly was key to success  – to avoid putting parts on the wrong way round – a bit embarrassing!

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Workshop 1: Setting up with the Robo:Bit Buggies.

Day 3: Bangladesh Roadtrip – Micro:Bit and Robot workshops begin.

Today we ran our very first proper workshops, three Microbit and one Crumble Robot workshop. In the Microbit ones we went through a series of different activities which were:

  1. Microbit icebreaker game
  2. Displaying the Bangla ‘B’ on the Microbit
  3. Scrolling their names (in English) on the Microbit
  4. Showing the temperature on the Microbit

It was really great fun to use the MegaBit in these sessions. We got through all of these well with all of the day’s Microbit groups and even managed, in one workshop, to get the participants to compete against each other to get the hottest and coldest temperature on the Microbit. However, for me, the most amazing thing was that one of the volunteers who helped out on the first workshop was able to teach all of the overflow students in the second workshop, how to use the Microbit!

 

As well as Microbit workshops we also did one crumble workshop. Just before this workshop I took all of the words out of my worksheet, so that all that was left was the pictures. It ended up working well; instead of  reading English instructions about how to do it, they could look at the pictures on the worksheet for reference. In this workshop we even managed to end with a race!

 

After all of the workshops me and mum went on a rickshaw ride with Kobir and Roxsana. It ended up being amazing and we got to see what Sylhet was really like, with cows roaming the roads and makeshift bridges over some slum-like areas but also surrounded beautiful lush green landscapes. I would definitely do it again, it was way better than travelling by car.

 

 

Day 4: Bangladesh Roadtrip – more workshop including  fabulous Wearable Micro:Bit session using MI Power boards from Kitronix.

Today we did our second load of workshops, like yesterday, three Microbit and one Crumble Robot workshop. It was a brilliant day with some great coding and robot building.

Our first Microbit workshop we did with the CAFFE volunteers. In this we got through the basics quickly. After that we attached the Kitronik MI:Power Boards to the Micobit so that we didn’t have to use the big battery packs. We then downloaded the code for the pedometer and put them into our wearable Microbit Watches. Then we went out on a walk down the road to test the wearables out and when we got back we had mixed results, some saying 20 steps, some saying 30, some saying 40 and some saying even more. So we concluded that the pedometer isn’t too accurate but we all had a really good time.

In our second Microbit workshop of the day we got through everything so quickly that we had to come up with a challenge for them. It was to make a 4 letter Bangla words which they could make with all of their Microbits put together. One of the groups made the word ‘Don’t Do It’!

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In the final Microbit workshop of the day we had an older group and so after completing the basics we decided to do a ‘Rock, Paper & Scissors’ game with them and it was a lot of work, however, after a lot of trial and error we managed to finish the game and compete against each other in a rock paper scissors tournament.

In the Crumble workshop we had a very young group who all managed to finish their robots and really enjoyed themselves while doing so. We also managed to have a race with this group and had to do a second one as there was some cheat!

 

 

Day 5: Bangladesh Roadtrip – day trip along the Shari river to the border of Indian and Tea Gardens.

After eight workshops in two days we were in need of a much deserved day out. So we went on a day trip with the CAFFE staff.

We first went to the Shari river and took a boat trip down it. We stopped at a small island and I went swimming in the water with Luke and Kobir’s father. After a little while we got back on the boat and went down to the Indian border. Sadly we couldn’t cross it or we’d be shot. It was a great trip and we got to see and go on one of the biggest rivers in Bangladesh.

After that we headed off to a Tea Garden. From the Tea Gaden we could even see the Indian Border. The first thing we saw was the national flower of Bangladesh, the Water-Lily. We then headed over a small bridge like that of the ones we saw on our rickshaw trip and up a steep hill to the top. As we came over I saw the amazing sites around us, apart from a busy road it was all green and natural. From the top I could just about make out Mum crossing the bridge. It was lovely at the top and we spent around ten minutes up there taking in the view before we headed back down through the tea plants to the road at the bottom of the hill where we got in the car and drove back home.

It was a great day out and it refreshed us, ready for the next round of workshops!

 

Day 6: Bangladesh  – visiting Autism school and Mozilla community.

Today we went to the Sylhet Art and Autism School and Hex.it.

We got in a CNG taxi and drove to the Autism school where we were greeted nicely and shown into the room where we’d be running our workshops. We then set up the computers and handed the Microbits out to all the kids. Firstly we played the Microbit icebreaker game and then we took some of the kids to the computers and got them coding. However some of the kids really struggled so we got them onto Paint so that they could create some art. Due to the shortage of laptops available, Mum & Roxsana had to play the Microbic icebreaker with those who weren’t coding . At the end of the workshop, we gave a Microbit to a boy who really understood what he was doing and enjoyed himself. After that we did a small training session with the teachers at the Autism school so that they’d be able to continue teaching the Microbit to the pupils. We left them Microbits and later CAFFE will run a session with the Robo:bit buggy that is reserved for them.

The next session we had was with Hex.It.  We met the manager of Hex.It who we’d been talking to us on Twitter, and got a tour of the workspace. Most of the young people there are university students linked to Mozilla and run free Coding workshops for kids. This was our most advanced group so  we went quickly through the basics of the Microbit with them.  We got them into teams and gave each team a Robo:bit buggy  and gave them minimal instructions how to code it. They were set some challenges and scored each team based on how quickly and well they completed the challenges. It was really fun. Some even used their mobiles to code.

 

Day 7: Bangladesh -visit to charity that run outdoor classes for underprivileged and linking with our Coderdojo distance learning group.

Today we went to Khasdobir Youth Action Group and a small computer training company who have been learning to code by Skype with our Coderdojo friend in London – Syed Shahriar and his young sons.

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CNG Taxi with flat tyre

We got in a CNG taxi but it had a flat tyre so was a little late and met up with one of the Khasdobir staff who took us to one of their open air schools where we saw them sing songs to us; we sang a song for them too, as well as taking lots of pictures. After that we headed back to Khasdobir where we set up our computers to run our Micro:Bit workshop.

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It went great; first we did the icebreaker, then I showed them how to display the Bangla B on the Microbit and how to download the code. I showed them how to scroll their names and finally how to display the temperature on the Microbit. This was real fun as we had to go outside to test it  out.

Next, we went to a small computer training company who get coding lessons from Syed via Skype. We had never been to that part of Sylhet before and what a surprise we got when we found out it they were based on the ninth floor of an unfinished shopping complex. It was all open and had concrete everywhere. There was a tiny office – 40 degrees and  we found out that they had only had two laptops that we could use as all the desktops didn’t have wifi built into them. So we ended up having to use the Microbit phone app. Unfortunately, it didn’t work because of the connections in the area and a few glitches in the app.. In the end we managed to get some of the Robo:Bits robots up and running and we were able to teach basics of the Microbit. We left some resources behind to experiement with. The view was amazing, by the way!

 

 

Day 8: Bangladesh – very sad to leave Sylhet as we return to Dhaka.

Today was the day that we had to leave Sylhet. It was such a shame as we really liked Kobir’s family and didn’t want to go back to Dhaka. However we had to so we went to the airport with Roxsana, Kobir and Luke and flew back to Dhaka. When we got to Dhaka, Kobir had to go to a convention linked to his work so we went shopping and had a look at some of the local food. After the convention we went to the American Diplomat’s club where we had a great diner.

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Day 9: Bangladesh  – amazing day with Street Kids at LEEDO’s Peace House.

Today we went to LEEDO, an NGO for Street Children, and ran two workshops on the Microbit.

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When we arrived we were greeted with flowers by the children and we went into the room that we were to run the workshop in. We were given 7 Laptops but we only ended up with 3 because the others were windows 7 and did’t recognise the Microbit. Our first workshop was a great success. We taught one person and then he/she would teach all the others how to do it. In the second workshop we were reduced down to two laptops and some of the children had quite serve learning difficulties but this didn’t stop it from being a greater success than the first one. As everyone passed the basics and got onto the temperature exercise. They loved the Microbit so much that one child asked if he could take it to the toilet with him!

After the workshop the kids took us to their brand new bamboo playground where they fed us mud pies, jumped on Luke and played a game of cricket. It was great.

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Day 10: Bangladesh Roadtrip – sightseeing around Old Dhaka and the Ahsan Manzil  Museum (a.k.a. the Pink Palace).

Today we went on another Day trip, this time to explore Dhaka.

 

First we went to the parliament and saw its amazing building design and then saw all the people jumping off the bridge opposite it. We also went the Zia Rah memorial across the bridge. Then after that we went to Sadarghat, a ferry port, and walked around looking at the ferries lined up on the side. Taking pictures, we drew  a bit of a crowd so we quickly moved on to the Ahsan Manzil museum (a.k.a. the Pink Palace where we found out about the history of Dhaka and looked at some of the artefacts.

 

Day 11: Bangladesh Roadtrip – workshop with underprivilage kids and great Micro:Bit session with Code Club Bangladesh.

Today we did our final 2 workshops at FFTPP (Friends For The Poor People) and Code Club Bangladesh.

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At FFTPP we ran a workshop with some of the kids from the old CAFFE school in Dhaka and lots of new ones, as well. We went through the basics and got them all taking the temperature in different rooms around the site, comparing them with each other. It was a very good workshop and the kids were quick to learn. After we left they continued with workshops with Luke and Kobir the following weeek.

For Code Club Bangladesh, we met  in a school called Nazrul Shikhaloy and where taken to their computer lab where we set up. We had 18 students who all completed the tasks smoothly. We were able to take them out in groups to measure the temperature. Mum managed to take 5 boys who came in half way through and get them back up to level in time to take the temperature with the rest of the group. Not bad going with just one computer.

 

 

Day 12: Bangladesh Roadtrip – end of the road, farewell Bangladesh and our awesome CAFFE friends.

Sadly our last day has arrived  and we have to leave Bangladesh. We left for the airport at 3:30am and got on the plane to Bahrain at 5:30am. As we checked in last, we were upgraded to First Class meaning we got much nicer seats on the plane. When in Bahrain our flight was delayed by 3 hours so we got to spend an hour in the Falcon Gold VIP lounge with free food and drink; it was amazing! When we finally arrived in Heathrow Dad picked us up and we drove home and that was the end to an amazing experience of a coding Roadtrip in Bangladesh. We manged to run 17 workshops introducing the Micro:Bit and Robots to over 220 young people. It was a real privilage and something i will never forget. It has inspired me to keep going and actually develop more fun workshops with the Microbit and Robots.

 

I would like to say a  big thank you to all our many individual contributors, sponsors and partners.

Indiegogo contributers and all those who donate money directly.

Micro:Bit Foundation ( Micro:Bits & accesseries x 100)

4Tronix (RoboBit Buggies x 11)

Redfern Electonics (Crumble Robot kits x 10)

Kitronix (Mi PowerBoards x 30)

David Whale & pocketmoneytronics for building and loan of the MegaBit

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Our biggest thanks goes out to Kobir, Luke, Roxsana, Forez, all the CAFFE staff & volunteers along side all the groups we visited and of course the fabulous young people who joined in our workshops.

Unfortunately we weren’t able to post daily vlogs of our Roadtrip whilst in Bangladesh as we experienced difficulties with the WiFi/Internet when uploading footage and editing. So I’ve decided to put the vlogs together and make a little film. I will post the link here, hopefully within the next week.

I have already had an article published in First News which I’m very proud about.

Article in First News : 18 – 24th August, 2017

I’m delighted to report that South London Press has also published an article about what I’ve been doing, too.

See  link: https://www.londonnewsonline.co.uk/29329/femi-harvests-fruits-raspberry-pi/
Thanks for reading,

Hackerfemo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Proud to be awarded a Diana Award & Inaugural Legacy Award

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I have some great news. Can you believe it? I am one of only 20 young people in the world to get the Inaugural Legacy Award!!!

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In May, this year I was invited to St James’ Palace to receive my award from Their Royal Highnesses, Prince William and Prince Harry. It was a fabulous day of celebration in memory of the late Princess Diana and her legacy of kindness, compassion and service she showed to others. I met some amazing people who were doing awesome things for their community. Amongst them, I made friends with Nicholas Nikiforou – who was diagnosed with a disfigurement and now uses his love of art to advocate for kindness, equality and promotes facial equality, Mathew White-ily – who is an anti-bullying ambassador who has raised awareness of the problems and the difference he made with the  bullying  in his school, and Jemima Browning – who through her highly successful stingrays swimming club has raised awareness about different medical conditions like Down’s Syndrome and has been appointed to the European Youth Activation Committee to represent the Special Olympics in Great Britain.

 

I have also been very privileged to meet HRH Prince Harry and HRH Prince William in the Throne Room. I even managed to give them both one of my Bangladesh Campaign cards and talk about South London Raspberry Jam and the Robot workshops I run in the community!!!

 

As you may expect, there was a lot of media coverage. See link below. My school is very proud of my achievement, as are my parents.

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SkyNews Link: http://news.sky.com/video/award-winners-adventure-into-unknown-10882252

I would like to thank Tessy, Daniel, Conor, Emma, Ellie, Becky, Katie Alex and the rest of the Diana Award Crew for all of the hard work they have put into the special Inaugural Legacy Award – you all embody the qualities of the Diana Award: kindness, compassion and service.  I am very grateful for the opportunity I have been given to meet the other Legacy Award holders and get to meet many amazing people at the Palace. Nik – I look forward to becoming good friends.

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Other news: Our Bangladesh Campaign is going really well. We have reached the £1,500 mark and still going strong. I would like to say a big thank you to 4Tronix who have donated 11 Robo:Bits Kits so that when I run my robot workshops – I can bring in the Micro:Bit and set a challenge for each group to build a robot with the Micro:Bit – to be coded using an Android phone. They will learn how to write code so that their mobile phones can control the robots.  This is a awesome addition to the project where I aim to run robot workshops to 100 kids in Bangladesh in July and give out out Micro:Bits. See Indiegogo campaign

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Bangladesh Campaign Link: https://igg.me/at/femi

 

I would like to thank Chris Follows from the UAL Digital Makers Collective for bringing us into the Tate Exchange  and giving our group of South London Raspberry Jammers (young SLRJammers) a session at the Chelsea School of Art and Design – a day of VR.  We are really looking forward to our collaborations with you and very very excited about becoming Tate Exchange Associates for the next round out programming in 2018.  We had an amazing time.

 

 

Thanks also, to Ben Nuttall from Raspberry Pi Foundation for running a great workshop on the Pi Camera and launching our first Pioneers MeetUp. As ever,  South London Makerspace – thanks for hosting our group.

 

 

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I am very proud to have run my very first Tourettes-only robot workshop at the TicFest South last week. 

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It was quite hard work as there were about 18 young people with  Tourettes Syndrome and other condition such as ADHD and Autism, which made for a very lively and, at times, an intense experience. I just about survived and everybody successfully built their robots with the Ultra Sonic Sensors working!!! I felt such a high afterwards that I had to go and play football outside and leave Mum and my little brother to finish packing away the robot kits. Oops, sorry mum, but it was with my TS friends and it was really hot outside. I promise to make up for it! Alex, you were a superstar (just 6 and now helping out with the workshop – see him in yellow t-shirt on right-size of photo above).

Everybody loved the workshop and we have been booked up for TicFest North in September and I will be running robot workshops for local Tourettes Action groups. I am really really looking forward to doing this. Thank you Tourette’s Action for all your support and the amazing work you do in the TS community.

 

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I am very excited to be returning to the BT Tower for a second time with the Tech4Good Awards networking event. I’ll be doing a talk   and getting to meet  some of this year’s finalists!!! I am also very excited to be going to the Houses of Parliament to celebrate the Diana Awards with  MPs – if I get permission from school.

 

I will keep you all informed – running a Wearables session with our Pioneers group this weekend and look forward to reporting back. 

Watch this space.

Femi

I’m taking my Robot workshop to Bangladesh

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I am very proud to announce my Bangladesh Campaign. Weʼre raising £1,000 so I can run Robot & Physical Computing workshops for 100  kids from low income families in Bangladesh. As you know, I’m just 11 so my mum’s coming with me. We launched the campaign on 23rd April and did our  first talk at the Wimbledon Jam. We are into week 3 and already 75% funded with additional cash donation – which is fantastic news. We are also being sponsored by Micro:bit Foundation who have given us 100 Micro:bits to give out to the children we see.

At Launch of campaign

With mum and Luke – founder of CAFFE Bangladesh

Here’s my background story.

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My first Indiegogo campaign in 2015

I was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome at the age of seven and, at nine, decided to set up the South London Raspberry Jam which is autism and Tourette’s Syndrome friendly  – where others can learn about coding and physical computing in an inclusive environment. We have run workshops for over 150 young people, parents and teachers and I’d like to reach more young people and so have set up this campaign to run my workshops in Bangladesh to 100 kids from disadvantaged backgrounds and share my love of digital making along the way.

Here’s the link:

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https://www.indiegogo.com/project/femi-s-bangladesh-robot-workshop-campaign/embedded/12189388

I will be working in partnership with the Mozilla community, Code Club Bangladesh, a small charity called CAFFE who work with low income families and NGOs to skill up young people in coding, physical computing and programming to improve life chances.

I’m going to vlog at the end of each day whilst in Bangladesh, which should be quite entertaining  ,  and do lots of filming and interview with other children my age who share my love of coding. Maybe we’ll make a little film about our experience there.

 

A message from CAFFE

 

“Everyone at CAFFE is very excited about Femi’s visit. The students will really enjoy learning new skills from someone their own age. They rarely have any opportunity to meet people from other countries so this is a fantastic way to broaden their horizons and learn about Femi’s life too.

This video introduces a couple of our students. You can find out where they live, learn about some of the problems they face but also see the work they are doing at CAFFE.”

Luke Doyle, Founder CAFFE

Link to video CAFFE Video

A message from Code Club Bangladesh

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A message from the Micro;bit Foundation

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‘The Micro:bit Foundation is delighted Femi is so proactive in sharing his passion and capabilities in computing with others and encouraging them to learn. It is impressive in the UK; to take it overseas to parts of the world needing support is truly inspiring. The Foundation and its partners believe in the potential effectiveness of the device in areas with restricted digital connectivity due to its low cost, accessibility, flexibility and the option to code using smart phones as well as PCs. We are more than happy to support Femi and look forward to seeing the results of his impressive efforts’

Gareth James BSc (Hons) MSc PGCE CMgr FCMI FRAS MIET
Chief of Education and Strategy
The Micro:bit Foundation

 

I will post a link to my vlogs when they have been set up.

 

Here’s some photos and a video of my Crumble Robot Workshop I did on Saturday at Raspberry Pi Foundation HQ.  It’ll gives you an idea of what I’m going to be doing in Bangladesh.

 

Click link for video:    CrumbleWorkshop

Thanks Redfern Electronics for providing the Crumble  kits. I would also like to thank Tate Exchange for allowing us to film on the 5th Level. I am really looking forward to working with you for 2018. In addition, I would like to send out a big thank you to Tourettes Action who have supported us from the very beginning.

Thanks all

Femi

 

 

‘Highly Commended’ in the European Astro Pi Challenge

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Fantastic news, our entry for the European Astro Pi Challenge achieved a ‘highly commended’ award and our programmes, written in Python, will collect data on the International Space station (ISS) over a three hour period. The SLRJammers’ team consisted of 5 young coders aged between 9-15 and we met over a period of 6 sessions at the South London Makerspace. We developed 2 pieces of code for the challenges, each of us worked on different parts, communicating and sharing code on Slack in between sessions. The hardest challenge to overcome was really putting the different parts of the code together to form the final script. Everybody was so committed and I would like to say a special thanks to Frank, Thomas R’s dad -for all of his help in overseeing this part.

Our code had to detect crew presence in the Columbus of the ISS and run a scientific experiment of our own choice. We chose to develop a programme to take frequency readings of the Columbus Module, which we plan to make into colour and a musical score. We will have a 3 hour timeslot to run our experiment and will be getting the data downlinked  in May.

I would like to thank Pimoroni for supply some extra SenseHats , Marc and Andy for their input,  for the great encouragement and advice from Paul, Dermot, Rich from the South London Makerspace and to Sam for her Python sessions and fabulous support. I would also like to thank the Raspberry Pi Foundation and ESA for running this fantastic competition.

 

The Tate Exchange Digital Makers Collective has finally come to an end after four amazing events stretched over two months. It has been a brilliant experience. I have loved the chance to meet so many new people and learn about their projects and aspirations. It has been amazing, learning about all the new tech and how they are being used in different ways. All this has opened my mind to the value of the Arts in the creative and ideation stages of building digital projects. Having contact with some key people at Tate Modern has inspired me to continue to help others.  Both Chris follows ( Digital Learning Manager UAL  & CCWdigital )and Fiona Kingsman (Head of Tate Exchange) have been really good champions. I quite  enjoyed being filmed, too.

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To be honest I never thought the Art collections  at the  Tate Modern would interest me.  However, I have been quite surprised. On the last day of the Digital Maker Collective sessions , I brought a friend along and my little brother, who loves painting with acrylics and is into the colours and shapes used by Rothko. We took him to the galleries to see some the Rothko works. He loved it.

Can you believe it, on our way out we found this really fun massive cloud of vapours and mist. Later we found out that it was a live vapour sculpture by Fujiko Nakaya. Maybe we’ve become new fans of the Arts.

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I’m looking forward to working with the Digital Maker Collective and Tate Exchange.

 

IMG_5702With chief judge Dr Lucy Rogers (from Robot Wars)

We went to Pi Wars this weekend  – and competed in the beginners section.  Lets just say it was awesome and now I understand the philosophy of learning through failure! I’ll be writing a review soon including  video footage of interviews with some of the other competitors.

Also, my mum and I are also planning a 12 day trip to Bangladesh and are in the process of filming our campaign video with Revolution Hive at the YouTube headquarters.  I’ll be running my Crumble Robot workshop whilst we are there and am looking forward to sharing my love of coding and digital making with other young people in both Dhaka and Sylhet. It’s going to be great to meet both the Mozilla and Code Club Bangladesh. We are going to visit and run a couple of workshops in a school set up by CAFFE (Computers Are Free For Everyone) who work with low income families to help them learn programming skills to earn a living.

I’ll let you all know when it’s ready.

Thanks

[Follow me on Twitter to keep updated  @hackerfemo ]

Digital Maker Collective @ Tate Exchange & Astro Pi Challenge

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It was fantastic being invited by UAL’s Digital Maker Collective to be a guest maker at the Tate Exchange. I did the first Wednesday session out of a total of 4 events every fortnight that are being held in the new Digital Arts space on the 5th floor of Tate Modern’s new Tate Exchange building. Over the next two months a number of awesome digital makers from UAL and guest makers (including me) will be running workshops and showing off some amazing gadgets at this event. There is even a VR workshop where you can try out this new piece of tech!

It was totally worth missing half the day of school. I missed both Geography and Italian (note to teachers, I have caught up with the work). Right from the beginning, the workshop was successful. There were students from UAL, tourists and even staff who had a go at building a robot. I didn’t stop working until my mum called it a day so that we could go on a tour of some of the artwork. Frances Morris, the director of Tate Modern, recommended that I see Nam June Paik’s ‘Bakelight Robot’  made up of 5 monitors and radios as he was the first artist to develop video art based on technological innovation back in the early 1960s. I get it now, this is about an exchange between  Art at the Tate Modern and the digital community. Nice touch.

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I really enjoyed engaging with so many different people and sharing some of my knowledge of robotics and sensors. I am really looking forward to the next session on the 22nd of February. I would like to thank Joseph from Redfern Electronics who has sponsored my Robot workshop by supplying the equipment that I use; he invented the Crumble electronic controller and the software programme. Very cool person too!  Me and my mum have been looking at some of the discussion points of the Digital Maker Collective

One of the themes is around  Ego and not letting it stop you from engaging in new technologies, developing professional Online  Identities (POI) and openness in sharing your experiences through social media and blogging etc.

Here’s the link to Chris Follows audio recording of his talk at UAL

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https://process.arts.ac.uk/content/oer13-audio-recording-ego-oer-and-lsp-lego-serious-play

And here is the link to Eckhart Tolle who talks about the Digital Age, awareness, thoughts and the Ego.

 

 

Since the  last blog we have had two more Astro Pi hack sessions with Sam Page, who teaches Astro Pi and Python programming to her Year 9s at her school. The South London Makerspace has been a fantastic place to hold our Astro Pi hacks; the members have been very welcoming and given us loads of support and advice. A special thank you to Rich, Paul and Dermot and, of course, Sam.  We have worked on the two different challenges, created the code for them and tested it. This week we worked really hard, as a team, to bring it all together and figure out what is left to do. We are even using Slack to communicate with each other  in between sessions. Really hope we can continue coming to the South London Makerspace as it just feel like the most natural place to be as a group of young hackers.

 

It was really nice to return to Barking Library for the second East London Raspberry Jam. Once again I ran my Crumble Robot hack in which another six robots were born. It was a great event, nice to catch up with the @DigiLab crew, Nic (@duck_star), Frank from Covent Garden CoderDojo, Justin Grierson (who showed us some Node Red stuff) and Andy from Southend Raspberry Jam.

Check out my mum’s feature blog on the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s official website blog. She talks about the inspiration behind our South London Raspberry Jam. Congrats – you did a great job!

https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/inclusive-learning-south-london-raspberry-jam/

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See you very soon

Hackerfemo!

 

 

Saying Farewell to 2016 & Starting 2017 0n a High

Raspberry Pi

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First of all – apologies for not keeping up to date. Technical problem – my Mac is broke! But there have been so many things to write about – so I’m going to have to be brief as I’d like to write about the amazing  stuff happening here and now in 2017.

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So in October, 2016 we were invited to join Raspberry Pi Foundation at St James’ Palace  to celebrate  10 million Raspberry Pi computers  being sold, with the Duke of York. I actually spoke to him – he asked me what a ‘Jam’ was  – which put me on the spot for a second or two. The Raspberry Pi is now, officially, the most popular British computer. It was really amazing – I went with my mum, little brother and my cousin.

Also in October I ran a Robot workshop at Mozfest with Nic Hughes – see last post. Well, it was awesome –  a full  session and we got really great feedback. What I got out of MozFest this year was being mentored by a first class teacher, coming up with a workshop and then writing a worksheet and presentation. I went to Nic’s first East London Raspberry Jam and delivered the workshop with my dad – then we went through the problems and made changes before running the workshop at Mozfest.

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Now, I really enjoy delivering this workshop to loads of other people – like at Hack Horsham in December. It was really nice to see the Horsham crew again, especially Jonathan and Marcus – although none of my  Show & Tell robots were working that well.

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At CamJam – mum did a talk about setting up a Raspberry Jam and I had a Show & Tell stall.  I managed to get some components for my Pi Wars robot –  the Zero Borg, a tiny robot controller and Brian Corteil and his son, Billy, gave me a lesson in Robot chassis design and how to consider the challenges and sensors.

We even visited  Cambridge makerspace which is very cool.

Towards the very end of the year we went to Sittingbourne for a Jam with Bethaine Fentiman – who I’m going to be working with  in Margate at half term.

Going into 2017, we got  through to Pi Wars and we have won a place on the second phase of the Astro Pi competition so we got together some of our Jammers at the  South London Makerspace – thanks to Dermot and the Makerspace members for giving us space to hold our sessions. Thanks to Andy for bringing his AstroPi experience to the session.

I also  did  a TED X-like  talk at Thought Works and met some truly awesome people like the guys from Revolution Hive who were so so  inspirational – with the best ever talk I’ve seen – using something like flow poetry and they talked about ‘growth mindset’  and  how changing  things on a daily basis builds its own momentum to get to amazing heights of achievement. Thanks Loius & Keshav .  The biggest thanks go to Shwetal and Jack and the Change_Enablers  crew. Looking forward to the documentary. There were so many  amazing people at ThoughtWorks like Ellie Cooper from Diana Awards, DR J Harrison from ThoughtWorks and Bronte who is doing amazing  work with creativity and dealing with issues in communities in Leeds

So there are quite a few things going on – Pi Wars/Astro Pi and I’m going to run a series of workshops at the Tate Modern with UAL and the Digital Makers Collective.

Just this week,  me and my mum were pleasantly surprised to be featured in the MagPi Magazine – The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s official magazine.

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Finally, today we went to the BETT show, one of my favourite events of the year. We got to see lots of friends, do lots of networking and most importantly collect lots and lots of swag. It was nice to meet the main guys at the MicroBit Foundation – talk about projects and find out about new developments. I also got to talk to Sudhir Giri from Google Education and talk about our Jams, blogging and making YouTube videos.

Phew – caught up now!

See you again soon.