October 17 2017 | Views: 498
Kent and Medway
On the third Tuesday of the month No.84 Tea Room in Gravesend hosts an early evening event for youngsters aged roughly from 10 – 14 with accompanying adults. On 17 October 2017 the speaker was STEM Ambassador Philip Moffitt. He brought laptops, BBC Microbits and some 'Heath Robinson' looking bits that turned out to be traffic lights in miniature.
Beginning with some background on the Internet of Things and slightly unnerving footage of a busy road junction in Addis Ababa without traffic lights he had the children suggesting ways that computer technology could be used to keep us safe.
The group was then shown some simple code controlling a traffic light sequence, saw it simulated on their laptop and then down-loaded it to make the miniature traffic lights function. They moved quickly into sabotaging the code to make the lights run wild and then de-bugging it to make it work again.
In the space of an hour they covered so much. They began by looking at how computer-controlled systems could help to keep us safe and then moved to an understanding of how easy it is to produce faulty computer code and how essential is the role of the person finding and fixing problems.
Adults and children were completely engrossed in the activity and if there was a problem they asked questions and sought help from the very approachable Philip. We are looking forward to inviting him back in 2018 to take us further forward on the journey with the Internet of Things.
These sessions aim to provide an enrichment activity for young people. If you know of a youngster who would enjoy an early evening activity once a month there are more details on https://gravesendsam.info/