Local students compete in ‘micro:bit’ coding project

ERIN – St. John Brebeuf Catholic School, St. Michael Catholic School and St. Mary Catholic School competed in a micro:bit coding project in cooperation with Fair Chance Learning, an education programming company, on May 6.

Grade 6 to 8 coding and robotics clubs from each school participated in a virtual model smart home contest, hosted by St. John Brebeuf’s club.

The idea behind the smart home expo was to share ideas and designs of how to apply micro:bit coding to everyday life. 

Micro:bit coding is done on a pocket-sized computer outfitted with an LED light display, buttons, sensors and input and outputs, teaching children how software and hardware work together.

After spending time on their applications during the event, students had 10 minutes to present their projects with comments and a question period to follow.

“The idea of combining a smart home project-based activity with the BBC micro:bit was developed as an extension of the coding and robotics training that our Grade 6 to 8 classes have undergone this year,” said St. John Brebeuf  principal Lowell Butts. 

“Working with Fair Chance Learning, our teachers and students at St. John Brebeuf, St. Mary, Elora and St. Michael’s, Guelph were able to get first-hand training in coding and programming of the BBC micro:bit platform.

“Our students learned how to code the micro:bits to perform various tasks and then built a mock up model home to demonstrate their learning and the ability to automate many of these household tasks.”

The students came up with a wide, cross section of programming applications for the smart home and micro:bit project. 

Following presentations, the day capped off with guest speaker Dr. Jim Egenrieder.

Students learned about Egenrieder’s experience on the education and engineering research faculty with Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering Centre for Enhancement of Engineering Diversity and his varying STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education programs.