Introduction to Physical Computing

We've developed a course of lessons that takes curious minds without any prior hardware or programming experience and quickly enables them to build and use complex digital devices, as a means to enable data science experimentation. The Introduction to Physical Computing course puts all the info you need into a fun package that is tried and tested in classrooms and works just as well in a home schooling environment:

There are five components to this course:

  1. Module 1: Using digital instruments. Click for more details, as well as links to the lesson plans and supporting materials.
  2. Module 2: Coding digital instruments. Click for more details, as well as links to the lesson plans and supporting materials.
  3. Experiments: Click to view a Wakelet (a kind of pinboard) that lists a range of experiments that you can conduct using the same kit and skills.
  4. Hardware: The XK42 kit is tailored to deliver the course, and can be used for a huge range of other applications too.
  5. Educator training: Educators / parents - it takes very little time to learn how to use the kit, and why not take this journey with your students anyway? Everything you need is available from this page.

All the lessons and materials are free and you are welcome to use them. Everything you need to access and administer the lessons are available from the links above.

Features of the course:

  • 10 lessons over 2 modules.
  • Each lesson includes up to 10 extension activities for advanced students and home study.
  • A Wakelet (pinboard) with links to videos, background materials and additional reading is available for each lesson.
  • 5 cross-curriculum experiments that can be conducted using the hardware and skills.
  • Lessons are suitable for middle and high school students (aged 11+).
  • First learn how to build then use digital instruments then later how to code them.
  • Learn the basics of data science and how to undertake environmental monitoring.
  • Basics of coding are covered from the perspective of software development and the course is designed to ensure students with little interest or aptitude for coding are not alienated.
  • The enabling hardware kits (the XK42) retail for around 120USD and this is a once-off cost: there are no hidden fees or consumables.
  • The kits can be used by up to five students at a time and reused across classrooms. The cost of ownership in year 1 can be around 10USD per student, and the kit will last for many years.

Going Further with XinaBox: