It seems you’re never too young to learn how to code in order to send messages to astronauts in space!
This year at Bovington Academy 20 teams of year 5 and year 6 children (aged between nine and ten) were given the chance to write a simple computer program that allowed them to send questions directly to the astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS).
The quirky and fun questions sent to the astronauts to brighten up their day included: ‘’How do you get used to zero gravity? What do you all eat? Can you feel cold the cold in space?’’
Perhaps the most unusual was: ‘’Do you have avocados and guacamole in space?’’
The Mission Zero project was led by Tim Grattidge, an IT technician and expert at the Wareham-based school which is part of the Aspirations Academies Trust.
Mr Grattidge first introduced the children to the Raspberry Pi, a credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV. The beauty of the device is that it allows young children to learn to program in languages like Scratch and Python.
He explained: ‘’I gave the children an introduction to the Raspberry Pi over a number of weeks, what it is, what it can do. By the end of the introduction lessons the children were able to connect a Raspberry Pi, boot it up and run various programs.
‘’Then they were introduced to the coding aspect and the Mission Zero itself. We have successfully submitted our coding as teams to the Mission Foundation.’’
The children thoroughly enjoyed the lessons and one said they were ‘’super excited’’ at having their message sent to space and another added: ‘’to have our code in space is truly unbelievable.’’
The aim of the Mission Zero project is to help children become skilled in computer programming, electronics and physical computing.
A core aim of the curriculum at schools within the Aspirations Academies Trust is to equip children with the skills to thrive in our evolving workplace.
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