Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Planning a little Sonic Pi this Sunday

Sonic 'Pet' Pi

I was looking for inspiration for getting started with Sonic Pi and found this quirky compilation by Sarah Angliss. Her Sonic Pi composition features an adorable dog, fascinating music archive from a time when music was printed on cylinders not vinyl and lots of imagination. Take a look. 

Find your own music gems here: The Internet Archive. And more Sonic Pi inspiration from the Sonic Pi: Live and Coding website. 

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Review of the Year 2014

Looking back on Maker Fun's first year we have delivered 26 events, and over 450 'makes'. Over 430 kids have taken part, joined by over 200 parents! We have hosted our own events at our local village library, supported our local Coderdojos in Manchester and Stockport, and delivered events at Museums.

Our top three activities were: 'Making Dragon Snot and Slime', turning Jitter Bugs into 'Art Bots' and our popular 'Dashing Reindeer and Dancing Angels' with a Frozen make-over, enter Sven and Anna and Elsa. Missed out? Then check out our Maker Fun Recipes and bring Maker Fun home.

Our most memorable event was our first Maker Faire at Newcastle Centre for Life. We hoped others would be interested in our club and were overwhelmed with the positive comments and response.

What's next?

We want to reach double the number of kids and families next year. We would like to launch the Maker Fun Library too!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Everybody Freeze it's Anna and Elsa!

Elsa and Anna joined the staff at Startpoint Coffee shop bringing Disney magic and sparkle to the Christmas light switch on at Woodley this weekend. 

We made dashing Sven's and dancing Anna and Elsa's using a vibrating motor, a paper cup, a coin cell, and some craft materials. 

No time to come to an event then download one of our activity sheets and do it yourself at home. See our latest activities.

More Maker Fun with Olaf. What is your funniest Frozen joke? Mine is about Olaf. Here comes Olaf. 

Q. What is Olaf's favourite food?

A. Frozen carrots

No! Click on Olaf to find out. 

Now try it for yourself! Click on the 'remix' button and make your own 'meme' using Mozilla Webmaker. Here a meme is a picture and some text that can be copied and changed by others and shared again. 

Mozzilla Thimble will open and the tutorial will guide you through how to make your meme! 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Stockport CoderDojo - November

Warning Contains Spoilers!

Thanks to Eddie, Ellen and James Stockport CoderDojo has got their very own Christmas e-card. It's amazing what you can do with a Raspberry Pi and lots of great ideas!

We converted our table top animation rig into a top down rig with a painted background. Just add imagination!

Now try this yourself at home.

You will need:

1 x Raspberry Pi
1 x Pi camera
1 x bread board 
1 x push button switch
2 male to female jumper leds

Miss Philbin from Geek Gurl Diaries shows you how to get started with your Pi camera.

For written step-by-step instructions on how to write a simple python program to turn you Pi-Camera into push button camera, to take  your first self and then set up your own stop motion then check out these resources from the Pi Foundation

Monday, 15 September 2014

Space Pi and Life on Mars

What would it be like to live on Mars? We took a light hearted look at what life might be like  on Mars in 2025.

We added biospheres for living and growing crops and a swimming pool to relax. We captured life on our planet using a Raspberry Pi and a pi cam that we put together as a stop motion studio.   

Space Pi at Manchester CoderDojo 

By the end of the session we had our own satellite dish engineered from a LittleBits Space Kit. Ready to broadcast those first reports and give the people left on Earth a unique insight to life on Mars in 2025.    

What will the journey from Earth to Mars 
be like for those first astronauts? Here is 
a short clip from the film 'Roving Mars' 
that follows the journey of the Mars Explorer Rover Spirit from launch to landing on Mars. Much of the footage is computer generated 
but based on photos and data from other 
Mars rovers and probes. 

Would you leave Earth to go and live on another planet? 

Why is CoderDojo Amazing and Awesome?

Every time I go to a CoderDojo I have this moment where I look around during the session and glimpse the future. 

Today the kids and young people at Manchester CoderDojo were building a ghost train in Minecraft, creating space animations with a Raspberry Pi, learning Python, exploring Scratch & creating role playing games in Javascript.

Take a 30 second tour and see for yourself.

Why is it amazing and awesome?

Within the next decade I think some of the most important inventions and technological  advances will come from kids who went to CoderDojo on a regular basis. It might be ground breaking nano-tech or a biotech cure for the incurable, or more likely stuff that I can't even imagine yet. But as I looked around Manchester CoderDojo today I had that feeling that great things start like this. That is with a bunch of kids from 6 to 17 who think coding and being creative with technology is a fun, cool thing to do with your friends on a Sunday afternoon. 

New to CoderDojo? 

CoderDojo is not-for-profit global movement that is led by volunteers. Manchester CoderDojo supports young people learning to code and make things at free monthly sessions.

Where do they happen?

If you are reading this and live in the North West there is probably a regular CoderDojo running near you.

Whether you are participating as a kid or a volunteer or a parent I challenge you to look around at your next CoderDojo and tell me what you see!   

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Animation Workshop at Eureka!

Eureka is an amazing place for young curious minds. We were so pleased to be asked to help deliver activities as part of their 'Made by Me' season. 

In the latest Eureka blockbuster two snakes fall in love, Elsa gets her own back a throws snow balls at Olaf and two ducks dance the day away. Here are the results, animations made by you on the 23rd of August at Eureka! 

Many thanks to the staff and visitors who welcomed us and supported the workshops.

If you are new to making save the date and go to Halifax Mini Maker Faire on Saturday 30th August. It’ll be a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and imagination, celebrating the Maker in all of us.