I have to confess I was just as or more pumped at the opportunity than the students. That is because I understand what is at stake. I have been following the project for sometime but it appeared to only be open to educators in the U.K. The minute I discovered it was available across the pond, I registered for an account.
I'm a volunteer at the local school. I approached the principal with the suggestion of an after school program that was not sport focused. After school sports has a lot of participation. I wanted something for those kids that are not into sports.
I run the club like a sport team. I'm called coach and the student participate but in computer activities rather than sporting activities. I have gotten wonderful support from parents and the school. IT support for the school tried initially to take control and dictate what could and could not be done. That soon changed when they discovered, I knew a lot more about IT than their local person. Plus being retired I have all the time in the world to invest. It was taking the IT group weeks to respond to requests. They don't even bother with me anymore.
colporteur You made me laugh out loud. Old school IT was exactly like you said. The newer IT isn't quite as... intense. Good on you for giving non-athletic kids an outlet for their skills. Music was my out but my school only focused on sports. Of course... we also typed on manual typewriters in typing class. I think they still taught punch cards. I wouldn't say we were tech savvy.
I'm sorry folks, I just had to share this success in the hope that maybe someone else might share in the opportunity.
After two weeks work, the students in the online Physical Computer Club I have been working with, just finished and launch their python coding project to the International Space Station (ISS).
MISSION ZERO asked that young people write a simple program to take a humidity reading onboard the International Space Station and communicate it to the astronauts with a personalised message, which will be displayed for 30 seconds!
The project provides all the resources to complete the task. If you have an Internet connection you can gain access to the site and registered your learning organization for the coding opportunity. Emulators are provided to enable students to code online. No Raspberry Pi or senseHat hardware required.
My students were all tasked with working independently to complete the coding assignment. The final product would only be one submission. Their submission must contain some part of each persons individual code project. I acted as both moderator and client. To observe the three students collaborating online was phenomenal, truly an educators dream!
I would recommend that childhood educators checkout the astro-pi.org link for inspiration. There is no costs to be involved. Just imagine giving a student the opportunity of telling friends at school, "I wrote a program and ran it on the ISS and have the paperwork to prove it."