Drumbeat/events/Festival/program/S4A Digital Orchestra
- Contact: Jose García Yeste (jgarcia at citilab dot eu) and Jordi Delgado (jdelgado at lsi dot upc dot edu)
- Team: Jordi Delgado, Joan Güell, Jose García Yeste, Marina Conde, Victor Casado
- Hosts: Citilab & ESUG (European Smalltalk Users Group)
- Proposed 'space' or theme: Hackerspace_playground
- Status: Accepted
Build your own instrument using scratch and arduino and become a musician of our digital orchestra!
What do you want to achieve? (goal)
S4A has been created to attract people to the programming world. The goal is also to provide a high level interface to Arduino programmers with functionalities such as interacting with a set of boards through user events. We want people attending this event to learn the basics of programming by means of the interaction with Arduino hardware.
Who should come? How many? For how long? (audience)
Everybody can do this activity. Scratch is perfect for educators that are interested on bringing computation and robotics to schools, artists that want to use interactivity in their works and people interested about the interactivity possibilities that arduino have and wants to try an easier interface to program it.
Youngsters and adults can do the activity with scratch and arduino.
Maximum 12 participants each session
For how long?
1hour / session
What will they do when they get there? (activities)
- S4A is a Scratch modification that supports simple programming of the Arduino open source hardware platform. It provides new blocks for managing sensors and actuators connected to Arduino. There is also a sensor board similar to the PicoBoard.
- Introduction: There will be a brief introduction to Scratch and specifically to the special version that Citilab prepared to work with Arduino. We show a full prototype with several sensors, LEDs and a button to switch between instruments. We propose to build a simplified version, where each group will choose an instrument or sound element to participate in the orchestra. You can choose from 128 different instruments.
- Technological elements (15 min.) It uses the Arduino board, an infrared sensor to measure distance and a LED. We explain each of the elements, focusing on the concept of sensor, actuator and control.
- Assembly and analysis of the sensors (50 min.) They connect three wires (sensor and LED) to the Arduino board.
- Open a new Scratch project and check the sensor response and the changes that occur when you interact with it (hand and zoom sensor variations of the note). The LED lights should go up when we reach the highest note.
- In this project we will find some objects that have some code already built. It helps us to simplify our program and understand that sometimes there are parts that should be refused and changed. The program code is to perform different actions based on different ranges of sensor response. Modifying the program code to make changes in the tempo of the melody. It is a way of learning by doing small changes.
- Final Symphony (15 min.): Each group shows its creation and together create a great piece of music. Suggest improvements and new ideas.
- Further work: Put on-line the result of the activity, through a post on a blog.
What will you / they have at the end? (outputs)
So at the end each person will have one instrument programed and then, all toghether can perform together in an improvised “interactive-electronic orchestra”. Besides, they would have learn how to program an arduino through the use of scratch programing interface.
Additional background and context
Programming is the fun way to get people more interested in computational thinking, one of the basic skills of XXIst century. Educate children and youth to change tomorrow's world. We want citizens who are fluent in computational thinking to solve the challenges of the current society of knowledge. Therefore, we work to teach computational and logic thinking through programming.