My P4 class has some very practical hands-on light lessons this week.
- Experience the light sensor with Addest DataLogger [Link].
- Seeing how light sensor can be used in Scratch Programming with the use of PicoBoard [Link].
The main rationale of these activities is to get them to explore and explain the use of light sensors. Through these activities, the students are doing science. They need to see the relevance of what they have learned in real life.
Overall, the students enjoy the lesson and more importantly, the teacher (aka me) , also enjoy the lesson. :-). How I wish I can have such real-life science lessons for all my science lessons!
Here are some learning points from the experience.
(1) Getting them to do in groups of 3 (for pico board) helps to cut down logistics issues. There would always be the knowlegable other who can “tackle” the technical issues.
(2) The student would be too excited to listen to you once they know they are going to do something exciting. The only thing I can do is to give minimal instructions so as to give them started.
(3) Minimal instructions for Addstation Lightsensor
- Showing them how to connect the light sensor to the relevant channel
- Show them how to navigate to select the relevant light channel
- Get them to use the stylus. The screen is not touch-screen. It is my student who discovered the stylus. 🙂 I am glad that my student know more than me!
(4) Minimal instructions for PicoBoard at Scratch 1.4
- Show them the mini-USB cable and that can be connected to the laptop. I did not do that during my lesson (as I assume my students would know it). Some of my students were confused as to which wires to use as there was some wires in the pack.
- Plug the Pico Board in the laptop and get them to wait till they see that the driver is fully installed.
- Start up Pico Board and get them to check that Pico board is “talking” to Scratch before programming
- Show them the scripts to control the sprite
What am I going to do next? I will need them to explain their experience. This is lacking in this week lessons. I do not provide opportunities to make their thinking visible (you should know that this is the buzz phrase that won’t go wrong:-)) . I will either get them to blog about their experience or jot down their thoughts in the biology book.