Overview: Code learning with astronomical ideas

Micro:bit is a pocket programmable device that allows children and young people to learnhow to program in a simple, playful and creative way. Its integrated sensors (buttons,compass, accelerometer, temperature, brightness, Bluetooth connection, LED matrix) allowthe development of STEM projects, in which children and young people, almostautonomously 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 fortheir motivation and in promoting interest on science. Exploring the relationship ofprogramming with astronomy will teach how science and discovery can be challenging andattractive to young people.CODELASTRO core project idea is to create a code learning programme based on microbitsand astronomical topics. For example, a mission to Mars can be decomposed in severalphases (planet observation, timing, rocket testing, launch, trip, landing, scientificexperiments on Mars, etc.), which can be replicated in a simplified way through micro:bitcoding and its sensors.The target audience is local students and abroad teachers that can implemment this sameproject in their respective countries. Implementations plan will begin by creating partnershipswith schools that do not have access to this type of technological education, due to lack ofmeans, which will permit a selection of children and young people in order to reduceinequalities.Once tested the project in local portuguese schools, it will be created a learning roadmap tobe replicated abroad, through partnerships with schools in other Portuguese-speakingdeveloping countries. These replication will be made possible through online training ofteachers on those schools. We already have partnerships with Mozambique PortugueseSchool (Maputo, Mozambique) and with Dilí Portuguese School (East Timor). MozambiquePortuguese School has a Planetarium which will be used for this project.

Contact: João Paulo Vieira, geral@casacienciabraga.org