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Let's Get Physical ... With Computing!

Explore and create

Explore and create : Creation lab

Monday, November 30, 11:15 am–12:45 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Jennifer Bond  
Mary Wever  

Come get physical with computing with devices including the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express, Micro:bits, The Brain Pad, while using MakeCode. Learn how to code music, lights and other fun things to make projects come to life, while also learning how it can be integrated with your curriculum.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Attendees would need to be able to access the Internet and the Make Code website.
Topic: Computer science & computational thinking
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.
Computational Thinker
  • Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
Additional detail: Session recorded for video-on-demand

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will first learn what Physical Computing is and view many examples of projects completed while integrating the maker movement and computer science. Then they will explore the Make Code website to learn how to easily use the platform with inexpensive devices like the Circuit Playground Express (CPE), the Mico:bit, and The Brain Pad. They will also learn the different capabilities of each of the devices.

Participants will have opportunities to see how physical computing projects can be integrated into the curriculum and learn how I implemented the projects, including Michigan Geography Snow Globes.

Participants will be able to complete coding projects virtually using the Make Code platform and then learn how to upload their code to one of the devices of their choice. They will also have time to share their projects and reflect on their learning, as well as ask questions.

Participants will be able to utilize the website I created for Physical Computing, which include examples, guides, videos, etc.

Participants will show they success as they code their own projects and make progress in block coding.


I . Introduction (5 min)
II. Explain Physical Computing (5 min.)
III. Overview of Tools: I will give a demo of each tool along with the capabilities and basic coding examples. (20 min)
A. Adafruit Circuit Playground Express
B. Micro:bit
C. Brain Pad
D. Make Code
IV. Curricular Integration Ideas: I will share examples of projects I have created with my students, as well as showcase other examples. (10 min)
V. Hands-On Experience: Participants will be able to tinker with MakeCode and have fun with the online virtual device. Perhaps I could even have folks send me their code to upload to one of my devices. (30 min)
VI. Share/Reflect/Q and A (20 min)

Supporting research

More [+]


Jennifer Bond, Walled Lake Schools
Mary Wever, Holt Public Schools

STEAM Teacher, MACUL President-Elect, MAET @ MSU Instructor

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