Code Club films: start a club in your school

What do Tile Hill Library, Y Bont Faen Primary School, and Liverpool Central Library all have in common? Answer: they are all Star Clubs who agreed to let us film their club sessions last term!

We wanted to make some films that showed different Code Clubs in action, to help us spread the word about our programme and encourage more schools and libraries to start up clubs.

The week before Christmas we jumped in a car packed full of equipment and headed across Wales to visit Y Bont Faen Primary. Despite the fact that they were all a bit tired after their Christmas show, the children (and adults) were very energetic and helped us create a great film about how Code Club works in a school environment.

Watch the film here:

We’ll be releasing two more films in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! In the mean time, you can check out more great content on the Raspberry Pi Foundation Youtube account.

Projects for Safer Internet Day

Tomorrow is Safer Internet Day, which aims to promote the safe use of digital technology for children and young people. The day offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology, and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community.

At the Raspberry Pi Foundation and Code Club, we’re committed to helping people to learn more about digital making, building a strong and supportive community who use their skills in positive, fun and creative ways.

To celebrate Safer Internet Day in your school, community centre, Code Club, or at home, we’ve created some fun projects that promote the safe and responsible use of technology.

Username Generator

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There are lots of websites and apps that identify you by a username. This username is often visible to others, so it’s important that your username isn’t your real name, and doesn’t include personal information such as your age, year of birth or where you live.

In this project you’ll generate usernames that you can use on websites like Scratch. You’ll be able to save the usernames that you like to a text file, so that you can use them later. You’ll even have the chance to create a profile picture to go with your new username.

Password Generator

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In this project, you’ll learn how to generate random, secure passwords. First, you’ll learn how secure your passwords are, as well as what makes a secure password. You’ll then create a program to generate random passwords, allowing the user to decide how many passwords they want and how long the passwords should be.

Secret Agent Chat

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Our personal data is important and should be kept safe and stored securely if shared online. Many websites use encryption to keep the data they hold private. This project shows you how to use a basic encryption technique, and how unauthorised people may be able to gain access to your encrypted information if you are not careful!

Find out more about Safer Internet Day on their website, which also contains education packs for learners, parents and carers.

New Projects for the Raspberry Pi Sense HAT

We know from our termly volunteer survey that Code Clubs are keen to try some physical computing projects. Whilst we have a range of amazing resources for the Raspberry Pi over at rpf.io/learn, and are in the process of giving away micro:bits to clubs, we also know that lots of clubs don’t have access to physical computing hardware. Therefore, we think Code Clubs will be very excited about our new Raspberry Pi Sense HAT projects.

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The Sense HAT is an add-on board for Raspberry Pi, made especially for the Astro Pi mission – it launched to the International Space Station in December 2015. It includes an 8×8 multi-colour LED display, a 5-button joystick, and sensors for measuring temperature, pressure, humidity, motion and direction. You can find an introduction to the Sense HAT on the Code Club Projects site.

Trinket have developed an awesome online emulator for the Raspberry Pi Sense HAT add-on. We already use Trinket for Code Club’s Python and HTML courses, but this emulator will allow clubs to get a taste of physical computing without needing any equipment.

Any clubs that do have access to a physical Sense HAT can also make use of our new projects, as the same code works on both the online Trinket emulator and the Sense HAT itself.

We have created 3 projects, which use the Python programming language to control the Sense HAT. The projects are:

Countdown TimerIn this project you will use coloured pixels on the Sense HAT to display a countdown timer.

Rainbow PredictorIn this project you will use the temperature and humidity sensors on the Sense HAT to predict when there’s a good chance of spotting a rainbow. When the right conditions are detected you will display a rainbow on the Sense HAT LED display.

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Where’s the Treasure? In this project you will use the joystick and LED display on the Sense HAT to play a memory game. The Sense HAT will display a gold coin, and you have to remember its position, and use the joystick to find the hidden treasure.

Trinket are still working on adding more functionality to the online emulator. Once the emulator is finished (in April), we will release 3 more projects. These will make use of the inbuilt magnetometer and accelerometer to sense the device’s movement and direction.

To get started using our new Sense HAT projects, head over to the Code Club Projects site.