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A San Francisco neighborhood model created with Scratch for our annual Art Night

Every year, our school organizes an event called “Art Night”  . Every student has the opportunity to present an art project related to a theme in our school. Last year’s theme was water, and this year it is California Art.

 The project allowed students to apply multiple subjects to one final product. The houses were built in Math class using geometry. The faces of the houses represent the Victorian houses found in San Francisco and were created in Art class. The lights of the houses were created in Science class during a unit on electricity.

In Computer Science class, I asked my students to create a system consisting of street lamps and traffic lights. We used the Hummingbird Kit as the platform to create the project. It comes with a set of actuators, sensors, and a software extension that adds extra blocks to Scratch to control lights, motors and different sensors. For the street lamps the students had to create a program that turns on lights when a car is less that 15 centimeters from the pole. The first pole turns on and few seconds later turns off. Then the second pole turns on and few seconds later turns off, etc…. For the traffic lights they had to create a program where the light stays green for a few seconds, then orange and then red. It had to be synchronized with another traffic light.

For both parts of the project, students had to not only create a Scratch program but also had to create the physical part of the project. Every team had a different approach regarding the construction. While the city does not have a harmonious design, the project reflects the students’ creativity.

Attached, you will find a presentation I asked every team to create as part of their final product, as well ass a few pictures of the project. You will find attached also a list of questions I gave to students before we start the project.
The small movie shows  a car moving in front of the sensor and triggers the lights.