If you want to learn about tech and how to make your own apps and games this is the place to learn the skills!
All of these tasks are extra, fun, things to do, not must complete tasks, so only attempt it if you fancy it after your other work.
Heath Robinson Machines
William Heath Robinson was a cartoonist.
Now why is Mr Bennett doing a Tech Tuesday about a cartoonist?
Well Mr Heath Robinson liked to draw cartoons of over-complicated machines and techniques for doing mundane, day to day, tasks.
Here’s one of his pictures from world war one showing silly ways of doing things.
His work inspired films and cartoons, especially some of the machines in Wallace and Gromit.
Since he became famous for these pictures his name has become the name for silly, over-complicated machines made for fun. People have made examples of these over the years and especially during COVID.
Here is a video of a Heath Robinson machine made during lockdown.
Coding is normally about the opposite of complication. Normally it’s about simplifying things.
However, creating games and apps is also about iteration.
Iteration is about testing and improving what you are working on.
When I do robotics, in masterclasses at Dalry Primary, iteration (testing and improving) is key to getting our code to tell our robots to do what we want.
So why don’t you try making a Heath Robinson machine yourself! Video the results and send it on teams or pop it on YouTube (with your parents permission).
Start at the end: These machines are best built backwards. Start with your last action and build backward in time towards the start.
Test: Test each part a few times to be sure it works the same every time.
Section: Once you have a few pieces built and are certain they work take out the starting element of that section before building the next. Or you’ll be resetting the whole thing all the time and get very tired. We code movement sections indvidually in robotics lessons.
P6 and P7 Optional Advanced task.
Making Heath Robinson machines is tricky in real life but even more tricky in the digital world.
If you think you caould try why not make a Heath Robinson machine in Scratchwhich at one click of the green flag makes one sprite know into another and another to achieve a task. You will probably need multiple screens. Here’s another video of a real life machine to give you ideas.
Try to make sprites that make sense and move differently, like magnets attracting to metal and balls rolling.
From this week we will be doing a Mr Bennett Tech Tuesday for those still home schooling.
If you want to learn how to make your own apps and games this is the place to learn the skills!
All of these tasks are extra fun things to do, not must complete tasks, so only attempt it if you fancy it after your other work.
My Grown Up is a Robot
Ask a grown up or a big sibling to be your robot for an hour.
Robots can only do what they are told.
Get them to also help you pick a task to achieve. Maybe walking from the front door to the kitchen.
Maybe getting a glass of water.
Or something more complicated like using the swings at the park.
They will only respond to the exact instructions on how to move though. Just like a real robot.
A really tough task is the one in this video about making a peanut butter and jelly (jam) sandwich. I don’t think you should try this with your grown up robot (unless you don’t mind wasting a lot of food) but watching it gives you an idea of how your robot grown up might act.
Was that tricky?
What mistakes did they make?
How will you need to make your instructions?
Then you need to give the robot grown up your instructions. If you are in P1 and P2 this could just be your saying the instructions.
If you are in P3 and P4 maybe you could go further and write them down.
All videos you want to share (no need to do this if you don’t want to) are welcome either in your class tech channel as an upload or on twitter to @tweetsbennett
Did you know you can use scratch as a storytelling programme?
You can use the included sprites and backgrounds or draw your own. It’s up to you.
If you want to share your story then either save the file and upload it to Mr Bennett’s tech channel in your class, or set up sharing in scratch (please ask a grown up for permission here) and share a link to the Mr B tech channel once you’ve shared your story.