The North Monastery has had a very successful introduction to coding. Students that have an interest in coding sign up to the coding club that is open to all students as an extra curricular subject. In addition, there are classes for Transition Years on their timetable to learn about the fundamentals of coding.
Students are taught how to code microcontrollers. These microcontrollers have a wide range of applications, for example, they are used in the feedback for car diagnostics, in the use of smart homes where a combination of the microcontroller and an appropriate App can control ambient room temperature and light etc. Overall, the students are taught about the practical applications prior to programming. This gives them a real understanding of why coding is needed and to make them aware of the ubiquitous nature of the subject to everyday life.
In a majority of SciFest and BT Young Scientist projects, students have written code and developed projects around the Arduino, (see the figure below).
This work has involved sourcing sensors that can be wired up to the Arduino microcontroller. The type of sensors students have interfaced to their projects are (a) GPS modules, (b) GSM modules for 2G communications, (c) inertial measurement units that can provide the orientation of a body in space similar to how games used in a Xbox are used to emulate the movement of players for golf, tennis games in real time and (d) various other sensors that need the input from the student to provide an interpretation of data. The ability to interpret data is an essential skill that the Project Maths course pioneered and moreover is a skill needed by Engineers and Scientists, in their day to day job.
Overall the Mon has had a lot of success in the SciFest competitions and this success is a result of the effort and time put into designing interesting and innovative projects that requires good coding skills and the ability to design electronic circuits to real world problems.