Countdown: Coding for the Stars – By Ajit Jaokar and Aditya Jaokar – learn the Raspberry Pi and Arduino through space exploration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is more about our book  (co-authored by me and my 10 year old son)

Extending the ideas in the book, working with Alex De Carvalho and the Lab Miami , we are also setting up an accompanying Multimedia research center in Miami for kids to learn Programming and Computer Science using Space technology

The book will be launched as a Kickstarter project in June 2014. A research center will also be based in Miami on the ideas for this book. The center will enable kids to learn about the Raspberry Pi and Arduino through Space technology

We will also hold learning to code sessions in Miami in the week beginning June 9

If you are interested to know more – please email me at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com

Story

Idea originally inspired by a NASA scientist who said ‘Space unites humanity .. ‘

A group of kids who are based globally decide to collaborate and launch a Satellite in space.

The Satellite is based on the Raspberry Pi, Arduino and other open source technologies

In doing so, they learn about specific technologies like Raspberry Pi and Arduino in context of space exploration.

Each child has expertise and is based globally (and often has some limitations/quirks).

The protagonist (a boy aged 10 based in London) – has the idea to launch a grand plan – a satellite in space based on Arduino / Raspberry Pi

He creates a group on social media – and asks to see who wants to join to help him create this satellite

A group of kids globally respond:

A boy from China who has great mechanical abilities
A girl from Philippines who is good at programming
A girl living in Miami who is originally from Brazil who is into design
A boy from Germany who is good at hardware
A boy from Russia who is also good at technology

The story is about this group of kids who collaborate to launch the satellite in space.

The book is a series of three books

a)      The plan – Design (book launched in Oct 2014 in Miami)

b)      The build – How to make the satellite

c)       Blast off – the launch

The vision

The world will be like this in future

Science and skill will unite humanity.

Talent will be found all over the world and people(even kids) will collaborate to create something amazing

Technically the idea of launching an Arduino based satellite into space is very much possible. We use this to teach design and programming to kids

The technology

Apart from the story line, from a technical perspective – the basic idea is:

You could teach kids about a temperature sensor in isolation OR you could teach them the same idea of a temperature sensor but in context of a satellite. Which one is better?

The idea is not as far-fetched as it may sound i.e. this is very much doable. The NASA Elana program provides a possibility to explore these ideas based on the  Cubesat standardexplained more here (NASA Elana program with Cubesat standard)

So, we have a story (A group of kids who collaborate globally to launch a Satellite in Space) – and the idea is to teach kids about programming and design using the Pi / Arduino using the NASA Elana program

So, while our story is fictional – its a great way for kids to learn about real programming in context. The book will also include real examples, exercises and code about the venture

Thoughts and comments welcome ..

Launch and Research center

The book will be launched as a Kickstarter project in June 2014. A research center will also be based in Miami on the ideas for this book. The center will enable kids to learn about the Raspberry Pi and Arduino through Space technology

We will also hold learning to code sessions in Miami in the week beginning June 9

We are grateful for the help and feedback from NASA and the European Space Agency for this project

We also thank Alex De Carvalho and the Lab Miami for their help in this project

If you are interested to know more – please email me at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com

PS – I just saw this Tiny KickSat Sprite satellites hitch ride into orbit . Hence, our idea of teaching kids to code using a story in context of Space is nearer than we thought!

PPS: We can even fork the code on github