Fundamentals & Data Types with micro:bit
Basics 3 servers as an entry point to SG Code Campus for kids aged 11-12 who have had no prior coding experience, and as a follow-on course for students who have completed Basics 2 R/G/B. Similar to Basics 1, this course introduces them to the fundamentals of coding and computer science, but at a faster pace and with more learning objectives. Students will solidify their conceptual understanding of the fundamentals, deepen their understanding of data types as well as hone their logical-thinking skills.
Each Code Camper is provided with a micro:bit - an affordable, powerful and interactive mini-processor that can be adapted for various applications, including sensors, games and LED displays. Code Campers will use the block-based code editor to program the micro:bit so that they stay within the familar environment of block-based programming (as they had done in Scratch). Given that there is a hardware element to the micro:bit, they will also gain familiarity with sensors, troubleshooting hardware and connectivity considerations.
At the end of this course, Code Campers will be able to use the micro:bit to create projects that respond to user actions, sensor output or other scripts within their program. Students will also appreciate that different programming languages are good for doing different things.
“Coding” is synonymous with “programming”. It refers to the art of writing computer code, which are instructions that a computer can follow to solve problems. Practically every facet of technology that we encounter in our daily lives - from online banking systems to video games on our iPhone, from the GPS systems we rely on navigation to the security systems that protect our homes and offices, is created from code.
At Code Campus, we start with Scratch and AppInventor - drag-and-drop block-based languages developed at MIT over more than decade for the specific purpose of teaching kids how to code. Learning to code in Scratch is a little like learning how to ride a bike by first starting with a tricycle - a tricycle can get you to places but you are not likely to compete in triathlon on one. With Scratch, kids learn the basics of the thinking process behind using computers to solve problems but what they can build is largely limited to video games, music and electronic art boards that run off the Scratch platform. Regular programming languages we hear about like Python, Java and C++ have no such restrictions and can be used to build applications across any technical domain you can think of but comes at the cost of much greater complexity and are much more difficult to set up for the beginner. Scratch and AppInventor are educational tools that allow us to separate the thinking of computer science from the operational tedium of regular languages, allowing us to introduce kids to the subject at a much earlier age and increase their future aptitude for the discipline.