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.


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Maker Faire Manchester, Stop Motion - Saturday and Sunday Films

Here is Part 1 of our amazing animated short created at Manchester Mini Maker Faire this Saturday. Thank you to all of our stop motion artists who created crazy characters to tell even crazier stories. Rabbit outwits the skinny fox, Pac-man makes a return and much more!



Want more? See Part 2 our Sunday Film. Sven saved Elsa from a burning building but Snowman was blasted by a Creeper.  


These animations were created with plasticine, using A Raspberry Pi computer and lots of imagination! 

We used a bread board and buttons connected to the GPIO pins on the Pi instead of relying on a GUI interface.


We made tweaks late into the night a head of the show.   






Sunday, 27 July 2014

Manchester Mini Maker Faire

Wow, we had a fantastic time at Manchester Mini Maker Faire. The whole family came to deliver our 2 second animation challenge! kids created their own characters from plasticine and brought those stories to life using stop motion animation. We were able to show and tell lots of families about our latest Raspberry Pi project. 


We captured an amazing 40 animations over two days. With an average of just two seconds per animation we are 'chaining' those animations together to create two short films for each day at the faire. Congratulations makers you created awesome animations. Check back tomorrow when we will publish the films!




  

Sunday, 20 July 2014

What's the Commotion? It's Stop Motion with Raspberry Pi

I think you will agree Robin Hood is as nimble and as swashbuckling as ever!



We celebrated the final session of this series of Maker Fun with a cool a stop motion animation work shop led by guest animator Paul ClaessensWe rebuilt and re-programmed our Raspberry Pi to create this stop motion kit. 




  




Our star maker of month was the first to try out our new Raspberry Pi set-up. 


He created his first animated short; the Adventures of Robin Hood Re-told in 5 Seconds! 
We had so much fun we are going to take our stop motion set to Manchester Mini Maker Faire. Pop along to the MOSI next weekend if you would take the 2 second challenge and help us create a chain animation.  



Monday, 30 June 2014

Butterfly Pi and the Great Escape

We did it! We captured the moment our Painted Ladies emerged from their chrysalides using our Butterfly Pi. There really is a Pi and Pi cam buried in that awesome Lego housing!
   


Why don't you put your Raspberry Pi to use this Summer and capture what nature is doing in your back garden! Don't forget to share it. #makerfun #raspberrypi










It was a lovely sunny day when we released the butterflies and we couldn't believe what happened next. Our Painted Ladies crept up onto the girls fingers for a little help with their great escape. 








They were in no hurry to leave and we were all fascinated by the chance to observe them before they finally flew away. 








It was a magical metamorphosis. We raised 5 very hungry caterpillars that ate so much they exploded to eight times there original size. They hung upside down and turned into Chrysalides. Check out our Caterpillar Pi video too. Before finally emerging as beautiful butterflies. The Butterfly kit and 5 live caterpillars came from Insect Lore.