Learning Resources

In response to the coronavirus crisis, University of Cambridge Museums (UCM) have created a range of themed activities and resources to try out at home. 
Traditionally, during February half-term, museums and similar organisations in Cambridge and beyond, open their doors for Twilight at the Museums
This year, due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, it will not be possible to run Twilight in quite the same way. However, local museums have responded by creating a range of Twilight inspired activities that can be enjoyed at home.

 

Twilight at Home

Here are our Twilight at Home activities for February half-term!

Twilight at Home: micro:bit Space Explorer

For ages 8-11yrs. In this activity, we will be looking at a device called the micro:bit. For an introduction to the micro:bit, please watch this video (watch it up to the 13:21 mark for a quick introduction).

In this worksheet, we will start by creating your astronaut name badge (the program shown in the above video), and then move on to launching a rocket, which on the way sees a sky filled with twinkling stars.

We hope you enjoy these activities. Happy coding!

Twilight at Home: 8-Bit Solar System

For ages 7-10yrs. Make an interactive 8-bit solar system using Scratch!

Download the assets needed here: Download

Printed Material

Here are some PDF versions of the guides we use in our workshops and school visits...

Geometric Patterns using Python Turtle

In this great tutorial, you will learn how to write code in Python and create fun geometric patterns using the Python Turtle tool!

Build Your Own Website

Websites are a part of every day life now, but how are they made? With this guide, we will show you how you can get started with making your very own website.

Age Range 7+

Raspberry Pi - A Beginner's Guide

This guide will introduce you to everything Raspberry Pi-related.  It talks about the basics - unboxing, plugging in, which cable does what - and then explores a few elements of physical computing with the Raspberry Pi using the two main programming languages that Pi comes loaded with - Scratch and Python.

Introduction to Python with Raspberry-Pi

Python is a great place to start if you're keen to get programming. It is flexible, runs on loads of devices like the Raspberry Pi and can be incredibly powerful.

Create a Video Game Character (Younger Children)

Here's a worksheet you can print out and colour in to design your own amazing pixel art creations, or copy one of the examples!

Pixel Sprites (Older Children)

Here's a worksheet you can print out and colour in to design your own amazing pixel art creations, or copy one of the examples!

Virtual Gaming Tour Funsheet (Age 7-11)

Fill in this fun sheet while following the Virtual Gaming History Guided Tour! For younger children.

Virtual Gaming Tour Funsheet (Age 12+)

Fill in this fun sheet while following the Virtual Gaming History Guided Tour! For older children.

Writing Games using Python Turtle

In this tutorial, you will learn how to write code in Python and create a 1982 Tron-like game using the
Python Turtle tool.

Twilight at Home: micro:bit Space Explorer

For ages 8-11yrs. In this activity, we will be looking at a device called the micro:bit. For an introduction to the micro:bit, please watch this video (watch it up to the 13:21 mark for a quick introduction).

In this worksheet, we will start by creating your astronaut name badge (the program shown in the above video), and then move on to launching a rocket, which on the way sees a sky filled with twinkling stars.

We hope you enjoy these activities. Happy coding!

Quizzes 

In need of a brainteaser?

Video Games History Crossword

Test your memory power by filling in the answers to each clue in the horizontal spaces. If all your answers are correct, the letters in each highlighted box will spell out the winning word vertically at the end. Use our website to help you in your quest ...

Here's the answers ... Don't peek!

Early Computing History Crossword

Test your memory power by filling in the answers to each clue in the horizontal spaces. If all your answers are correct, the letters in each highlighted box will spell out the winning word vertically at the end. Use our website to help you in your quest ...

Here's the answers ... Don't peek!

Video Guides
If you learn by watching, try our video guides...

Beginners Guide to Programming Using BBC BASIC - Part 1

We take you through the very basics of programming using a BBC Microcomputer from 1981? Why? Because it's fun! and the understanding you will gain from this video can be transferred to modern programming languages like Python.

We will cover the PRINT statement, variables and loops, and then apply these to some creative commands like the SOUND and DRAW commands.

 

Beginners Guide to Programming Using BBC BASIC - Part 2

In the second part of this series, Jason extends our knowledge of loops and introduces the concept of conditional instructions; if/then/else. We even create a simple number guessing game!

 

How to Create Interactive Stories and Adventure Games Using Twine

Dan talks us through how to create your own interactive story or adventure game using Twine - an online or desktop application thats free for everyone.

In this guide Dan will take you though how to set-up variables, update them and use them to change the options in the game.

 

An Introduction to Micro:bit - For Children with No Prior Experience.

Anjali, Head of Learning at The Centre for Computing History, introduces the Microbit with 4 simple projects. This video is aimed at children with no prior experience of the Micro:bit.

An Introduction to Scratch - Parachute Game

Dan takes us through creating a Parachute game using Scratch. Parachute is a game originally released in 1981 on the Nintendo Game and Watch, so you'll be re-creating a bit of history!

Download the assets for the game : Parachute-Assets

 

An Introduction to Scratch - Build our 'Scratch Catch' Game

Dan talks us through your first steps with Scratch and shows you how to create a simple 'chase' game.

 

Twilight at Home: 8-Bit Solar System

For ages 7-10yrs. Make an interactive 8-bit solar system using Scratch!

Download the assets needed here: Download

Colossus - The Greatest Secret in the History of Computing

Chris Shore talks about Colossus, how it came to be, how it worked and how it changed the course of World War II. Essential viewing!

 

Articles 

Read and learn about computing history...

Did the Atari 2600 Start a $137 Billion Industry?

In 2018, The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment estimated that the games industry was worth $137 billion, yet it's an industry that has only existed since the mid-to-late seventies. So where did it all start, and what was the catalyst that started a global billion dollar industry?

 

History

These are the some of the learning resources used during the Viva Computer! Festival in July 2016. Each week of the festival had a theme and there is online material for each one, via Hstry (a collaborative website for creating learning resources). The materials have Viva Computer! interviews embedded within them so they’re a great way of bringing computing history to life. Teachers – feel free to use with your students. We’d love to hear how you use them so don’t hesitate to let us know how they worked for you.

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