Parallax Insider News

Make Your Hour Of Code an Hour With BlocklyProp!

  • By: Ken Gracey Published: 07 December, 2017 0 comments

This morning a few of us at Parallax spent our Hour of Code with Whitney High School students and their instructor Brian Pointer. Mr. Pointer stumbled upon Parallax last August when he was starting a Career Technology Education (CTE) Computer Science course. Students really like Mr. Pointer as he’s an easy-going, organized person who motivates them in such a simple way: give them the tools and let them work with their hands, eyes and minds. Experiential learning is such a simple concept, yet it’s the class every student will remember years after high school!

How is Parallax hardware used in this class? Systematically, establishing a solid foundation in electronics with consideration towards an eye on invention. They started with FLiP Try-It Kits using the Circuit Practice BlocklyProp tutorials, then proceeded to program ActivityBot robots. This foundational approach is the way to go since they can look at the Propeller Activity Board and understand the value of the pre-built circuits for audio amplification, RF, and A/D.

At this point each student is tasked with a particular project and we’re seeing a lot of experts emerge. Students are quickly understanding servos, sensors of all types, and programming logic to use these tools. One student has already repurposed his Chromebook with a Crouton and Wine installation to run SimpleIDE.

Hour Of Code News Coverage by Brian Hickey of KCRA Channel 3:

For this particular fast-learning group, they’ll be able to grow with Parallax. We won’t even need to start talking about multicore programming and assembly language until next year :)

Ken Gracey, CEO

From HourOfCode.com: The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 45 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104.