Parent & Teacher Guides

Parent's & Teacher's Guides

Standards-aligned lessons, tutorials, project guides, and more! 

MakerBit Project Lessons

In teaching computer science, the common approach is to make a list of various computer science concepts, like loops, conditional branching, variables, algorithms, etc., and then create an activity for each one of those concepts. If there are 100 concepts, then there are 100 activities. This is not literally the case, but it gives an idea of what is found in many computer science teaching approaches.

Instead, in the lessons presented here, students start with something that they are already familiar with in their school life: a traffic signal.  This introduces Microsoft’s MakeCode, along with loops, variables and events. The series of physical computing projects starts with LEDs and touch sensors, using the BBC micro:bit as the computing device.

The sequence then moves forward and over a time period of weeks, where students create a series of working models of everyday digital devices. From traffic signals and digital timers to light-activated lights and thermostats, students progressively use more and more sophisticated programming techniques in their models, and in the course of that satisfy a large number of computer science educational standards. 

The capstone project is the application of everything learned in the creation of an electronic board game of their own design.

Week 1: Traffic Signal, part 1

Week 2: Traffic Signal, part 2

Week 3: Elapsed Time Counter with LCD

Week 4: Lights on at Dusk

Week 5: Thermostat Model

Week 6: Digital Piano (Tones)

Week 7: Digital Piano (MP3)

Week 8: NIM Game

Week 9: 8 Ball Fortune Teller

Week 10: MP3 Player

Weeks 11-12: Inventing an Electronic Board Game

Parent's & Teacher's Guides

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