Code learning with astronomical ideas

Micro:bit is 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. On the other hand, Astronomy is a very attractive topic to young students, contributing for their motivation and in promoting interest on science. Exploring the relationship of programming with astronomy will teach how science and discovery can be challenging and attractive to young people. CODELASTRO core project idea is to create a code learning programme based on microbits and astronomical topics. For example, a mission to Mars can be decomposed in several phases (planet observation, timing, rocket testing, launch, trip, landing, scientific experiments on Mars, etc.), which can be replicated in a simplified way through micro:bit coding and its sensors. The target audience is local students and abroad teachers that can implemment this same project in their respective countries. Implementations plan will begin by creating partnerships with schools that do not have access to this type of technological education, due to lack of means, which will permit a selection of children and young people in order to reduce inequalities. Once tested the project in local portuguese schools, it will be created a learning roadmap to be replicated abroad, through partnerships with schools in other Portuguese-speaking developing countries. These replication will be made possible through online training of teachers on those schools. We already have partnerships with Mozambique Portuguese School (Maputo, Mozambique) and with Dilí Portuguese School (East Timor). Mozambique Portuguese School has a Planetarium which will be used for this project.

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East Timor