Instructables for Digi-Day with NE Youth

Instructables
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NE Youth are a leading youth development charity supporting young people and youth organisations in the North East of England. In 2018, Northumbria University teamed up with them to run a hackathon in the summer holidays. The event hosted 15 young children aged between 8 and 15 years who turned up to create 1 of 13 Play Bits - specially chosen configurations of IoT devices that allowed the young people to learn how to program, but importantly get outside and play. On the day we invited sixteen young people from the local community into the new CIS building at Northumbria University. We had placed...

Presentation at the CHI Conference

Updates
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We have just presented our paper for the project at the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. This year, the conference was hosted in the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, Scotland. You can download the paper from our Northumbria portal and our CHI powerpoint slides...

Halloween at the Play Lab

Updates
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We had a spooky half-term with the children at the Play Lab.  Alongside making digital pumpkins and decorating the Haunted House (with augmented zombies and frightening screams), we had the children show us how they might play with some prototypes.  Thanks, everyone, for a lively week and great...

micro:bits of play

Updates
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We have created an instructable for 13 micro:bit designs that we hope will encourage you to play outside. These are based on our work with our partners at Cedarwood Trust and will be featured at the August 8th Hackathon with NE Youth. We are thinking about this instructable as a set of play "things" - some of these like the Egg and Spoon Race, Step Counter and Compass should be familiar and you might have even played with these outside. Some of the designs like our Fortnite Dance Challenge generator are brand new! Which ones will you...

Summer Hackathon: Digi-day with NE Youth

Updates
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NE Youth are a leading youth development charity supporting young people and youth organisations in the North East of England. This summer Northumbria University teamed up with them to run a hackathon in the summer holidays. The event hosted 15 young children aged between 8 and 15 years who turned up to create 1 of 13 Play Bits - specially chosen configurations of IoT devices that allowed the young people to learn how to program, but importantly get outside and...

Micro:bit

Kit
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The BBC micro:bit is a tiny programmable computer which has been designed to make teaching and learning programming fun. The micro:bit can be programmed in lots of different ways. Microsoft's Block Editor allows code to be dragged and dropped into place, where coding blocks simply snap together to make the programming logic easier to understand. It is also possible to program these in a text editor using the JavaScript and Python programming languages. Micro:bits are ideal for helping young people create their own outdoor play because they come with motion detection, a built-in compass and Bluetooth technology. They can also be connected to other input/output boards,...

Digital Jump Rope

Instructables
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This is our Digital Jump Rope which has been created in the Playing Out with IoT project. This prototype will be shown at the upcoming Great Exhibition of the North. We think this is a great example of an outdoor game that you can create with IoT devices. This version of Jump Rope encourages us to use our imagination. In the picture above, you can see the person in the middle jumping over the rope. When the IoT devices think the jumper has been "caught out" the light in the middle changes to red as they "snag" the invisible rope. The current...

A Game of Catch

Instructables
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In the June 1st workshop, the children had drawn pictures of themselves playing different variations of the game "catch". In one particular game, they described how they would throw a Nerf ball from one person to another. This version was an interesting take on the Hot Potato game with a dark theme suggested by the children where the ball became a dangerous bomb. In this game the children would throw while counting down from ten. When the count reached zero any child holding the ball would be "caught out" and would sit out until the end of the game. While playing...

Workshop Instructables

Updates
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We are building many designs in the Playing Out with IOT project. These designs range from those non-digitally ones such as the card hangers displayed above, to the digital designs like the Magic Sap Collector which has been placed in one of the Cedarwood flower beds in the photo. These posts will detail how you can take these designs and make them yourself, as we detail what you need to buy and how these can be made step by...

Materials from our Play Workshops

Instructables, Updates
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We have been working on materials for our first playing out workshops.  The poster-sized map has been designed to suggest it can be drawn on/coloured in, and plenty of white space has been left surrounding the map.  It is hoped that participants will draw and write on the map as a response to questions about playing in the surrounding area.  The A5 cards will be used to focus on something in the area the kids play at, they will be asked to draw a symbol or picture representing this.  Once they have done this, the coloured cardholders can then...

Introductory Workshops at Cedarwood Trust

Updates
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The introductory workshops were an oppurtunity to work with the Cedarwood Trust team and try out digital technologies for the first time. The workshops involved children from ages 5-12 and were delivered across the summer holiday. To fit in with the way Cedarwood Trust organise their days these workshops ran from 10am until 3pm in the afternoon. They were organised around excited themes. Plant and Grow Children worked in pairs to decorate their plant pot and put a plant in the pot. Then, the children were introduced to the concept of electric circuit. They were to complete a soft circuit with copper tape and used their plant...

Magic Sap Collector

Instructables
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The Magic Sap Collector was designed for the Cedarwood Trust over the course of the week by the young people in the community. The Magic Sap Collector uses a well at the top of the a ceramic pot to hold tree sap. If that person believes in magic then the computer inside the pot will display a count of how magical it rates that sap. Once the container has enough sap, then a heart appears. The Magic Sap Collector was created using a "found object" from Oxfam. We don't exactly know what this pot was used for, but we think...

PlayStation Move Controllers

Kit
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We have used PlayStation Move controllers to create some new digital games. The animated GIF shows a PlayStation Move controller running in a simple test bed which we based on Thomas Perl's PS Move API. This test bed uses the different buttons on the controller (triangle, circle, cross and square) to set the lights according to the colour of those symbols. We have so far used this controller to put a "digital twist" on a game of catch and make a "digital jump rope" which re-imagines how we might play skipping digitally, but without any screens. These games were a lot of fun and...

SAM Labs Classroom Kit

Kit
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We are experimenting with lots of different hardware in the Playing Out with IOT project and one piece of hardware we really like is the SAM Lab's Classroom Kit. SAM Labs is one of the project partners but we think their innovative kit is brilliant for teaching about both flow-based coding and materials. In addition, we are excited about what you can do with their blocks outside. Just think what you can do with plug-and-play digital electronics that will let you build anything from a rugged buggy to race in that wood near your house, to setting trap outside - with a...