January 30, 2019

Week 2: Learning Circuit Playground Express


Written by: Wesley Muthemba

Based on last week’s meeting, there was a general consensus that we should create a curriculum as early as possible and have the curriculum go through multiple testing/iteration. The meeting began with having a couple of members present their demo for the homework assignment. For the homework, we got to choose between creating a thermostat or a pulse detector using MakeCode and Adafruit Circuit Playground Express. While presenting their demos, the members noted that they experienced couple of challenges doing the assignment as listed below:

  •    Figuring out what is possible in the IDE
  •    Figuring what “blocks” are available for programming
  •    Drag and drop errors

Thanks to the homework assignment, the members got an understanding of what the students at Neah Bay may face. The next phase of the meeting was similar to a Q&A session with the returning students in our group about their experience. In the session, we definitely received great advice to work on. One notable advice was that the previous high school team had to “wing it” since the curriculum they spent time creating was of no or little interested to the students. The members agreed that at the very least, this time there will be multiple testing of the curriculum with actual high school teens and within ourselves. Moving on, we split into two groups. One group was for Middle School (MS) and one for High School (HS). Each group will be responsible for creating a curriculum, ordering of extra resources, and teaching. We then started working in our groups. As time is our only constraint, our homework assignment is brainstorming and drafting our learning objectives, project themes, and curriculum outline for the next meeting.

Figure 1. High School group brainstorming

Figure 2. Middle School team’s brainstorming on learning objectives and curriculum outline