This week Emily She will be blasting off with Piper play learning electronics and coding. Starting with Getting started and finishing at Traffic lights. My original goal was to end with the second stage Blink mission. However Emily took to it like a duck to water and surpassed my expectations.

What’s Play Piper like for a complete novice?

Well the instructions do assume you know things that a complete novice wouldn’t. While I was learning how to use Play piper things were made more difficult than is could be. This is because our Pi isn’t just pushed into a bread board but on an explorer base. So this did complicate things.

However, the difference in boards to one side the instructions aren’t great. It doesn’t explain which way to plug in the LED Emily googled this herself as she didn’t want to ask me. It also didn’t tell you which way around to put the switch.

Duncan quickly put it right when he came home for lunch and then everything worked as it should.

Emily really took to Play piper easily and did manage to follow all the steps right through to completing the 3rd task called Traffic lights.

She even went to change the coding to take this further than they do through their steps.

Emily programmed it to stay green unless the button was pushed down. If pressed it would then start the change to red until a few seconds after the button was released. (much in the same way sensor lights work when the car weight is in the right place)

So what do we really think so far?

So far, despite the few issues we encountered. It has been going really well. I would be lying if I said emily was enthusiastic about it at the moment. However, she enjoyed it and is happy to continue.

Sometimes having a child who isnt as enthusiastic enjoy a route means more than one who is already into the subject.

We will continue Emily’s journey on Mondays or Wednesdays. However, she really was blasting off with play piper this week.

To follow her progress you can find all coding and electronic posts here. For her Stranger Things project you can keep updated on that here.

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