The IAU Office of Astronomy for Development is supporting the Planetário – Casa da Ciência de Braga, Portugal to develop a code learning program with the Portuguese School of Mozambique and the Portuguese School of Dili Ruy Cinatti in Timor-Leste.
The CODELASTRO project is a code learning program based on microbits and astronomical topics. The project team, based at the Planetário – Casa da Ciência de Braga in Portugal has partnered with schools in Mozambique and Timor-Leste.
CODELASTRO uses Micro:bit, a pocket programmable device that allows children and young people to learn how to program in a simple, playful and creative way. Its integrated sensors (buttons, compass, accelerometer, temperature, brightness, Bluetooth connection, LED matrix) allow the development of STEM projects, in which children and young people, almost autonomously and in groups, can learn and lead all phases of design, development, programming and execution.
Micro:bits were sent to the schools in Mozambique and Timor-Leste. Then the team held an online meeting with teachers in the partner schools to determine the structure and contents of a workshop for code learning based on astronomical ideas. It was followed by 10 webinars for the teachers, with hand-on activities for learning coding with astronomical ideas. The project is also creating a guide to help teacher and students learn about the project.