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A new book aims to combine coding and craft in a project inspired by classic text Alice In Wonderland, using the BBC micro:bit.
The project is the first book published by Tech Age Kids, a creative computing content creator. The company have designed and created micro:bit In Wonderland to be used alongside the BBC’s coding initiative micro:bit – which uses a mini computer half the size of a credit card to code and can respond to its buttons, light, motion, and temperature. It can even send messages wirelessly to other micro:bits.
micro:bit In Wonderland has been written and designed by Dr Tracy Gardner and Elbrie de Kock from Tech Age Kids. Their craft and tech approach makes it an appealing project book for girls and boys. The 12 projects, all inspired by the Lewis Carroll story, help develop skills in creative and computational thinking, computer programming, craft, making and electronics.
Gareth James, chief of education and strategy from the Micro:bit Education Foundation, said, “It is coherent, concise and comprehensive. It takes the readers on a learning journey but in a way that is full of fun activities, set in the context of a timeless story that is known and loved around the world.”
Learners use easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions with colour illustrations and photographs to learn coding with the BBC micro:bit mini computer. They also work with electronics and make wearables, e-textile projects, papercraft and much more. The accompanying website alice.techagekids.com make templates, additional instructions and resources easy for parents and teachers to access.
Sian January, software engineer and mother of two girls, said, “When I first heard about the micro:bit I was fairly underwhelmed and wondered how much you could really do with 25 red LEDs and a few inputs. How wrong I was! I absolutely love the creativity of this book. Tracy and Elbrie have brought together a unique combination of skills to develop these incredible projects that most of us couldn't even dream of.”
Computer scientist Dr Gardner previously worked at IBM and taught computing at primary level, while designer Elbrie de Kock previously worked in different industries in design and marketing. They also run local Code Clubs, Coder Dojos and family tech events. Elbrie said, “We created micro:bit In Wonderland as a springboard to help children understand the digital world around them and encourage them to explore technology and electronics in a creative way.”
Tracy said, “As children make each project they will will build their knowledge of the micro:bit and develop creative and computational thinking skills to eventually imagine, design and create their own projects.”
Tech Age Kids is an online company that helps parents and educators find constructive and creative uses of technology for children and teens. The company creates educational material and online content for techagekids.com, including approachable project ideas, news and reviews of the latest educational and creative technology products, as well as advice on digital parenting issues.
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