For Design and Technology this term in Year 5, our task was to create a monitoring device. Our brief was as follows:

When animals are kept in captivity or as pets, we need to recreate an environment as close to their natural habitat as possible for them to be comfortable and happy. Animals cannot tell us when they are too hot or cold. Research, design and develop an animal monitor that can inform the owner of a chosen animal when the temperature is above or below the animal’s maximum and minimum temperature range.

The children were given micro:bits and they had to write a program that would monitor the temperature and respond with an alert when the temperature is too hot or cold for their chosen animal. The children could check there was no errors in the code by testing their completed programs in the micro:bit simulator.

Once the children’s programs had been tested, it was time to create a case or stand for the thermometer using LEGO bricks. We considered the necessary for requirements for our case: size, accessibility, convenience, lightweight etc. The LEGO bricks were very versatile, allowing us to create all sorts of creative structures without needing glue. They could also be remodelled easily. The children needed nets for their micro:bits so we could use paper versions of the micro:bits to eliminate the chance of damaging the micro:bit as we explored casing ideas.

Once we had designed our casing with LEGO, we could create 3D designs of our micro-bit casing on the computer using ‘Computer-Aided Design’ (CAD) modelling. We did this by accessing www.tinkercad.com and used the tinkercad interface and tools to recreate our models. We learned a lot about what goes into the designing process and how to use computing technology to create an interactive product with a clear purpose in mind.

One comment on “Year 5’s microbits in DT

  1. Mr. Kersys says:

    Well done Year 5 on your fabulous D.T. work! Thank you for letting Miss Walsh and I come in to see some of your lesson and it was so amazing to see what you had achieved with the microbits…Your cases had such wonderful designs and you shared a lot about what it was like to design something on Tinkercad!

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