Build and program a fully working computer with no electronics or computing experience required!
Our unique Make n’ Break Computers workshop allows students to engage with project-based learning where they are provided with the opportunity to apply and develop their knowledge and understanding through building and programming a fully working computer. This whole process is achieved with simplicity and health and safety at the forefront of its development. No soldering, heat or chemicals are required in the build process. Students will be introduced to and use chips, wires, ceramic resistors, diodes and capacitators during their build. By offering such hands on learning this workshop provides a creative way of developing knowledge, understanding and practical skills. This engaging workshop can be undertaken with no prior knowledge or experience with electronics building.
Our workshop begins with an introduction to TinyBASIC, the worlds first free computer programming language. We then continue to briefly explore how computers began to move into the home and became more widely accessible in the 1970’s. Through venturing, briefly, into the history of computer science it aids students computational thinking and encourages pupils to become well rounded in their digital literacy.
Students then get to the ‘MAKE’ section of the workshop where they will be given step by step instructions to build their computer, exploring and discussing the purpose of the various components as they go.
After testing the electrical circuits and connecting a keyboard and screen, pupils will complete a series of programming exercises for their new computer to get it up and running.
Depending on the length of workshop selected, students will then proceed to build an electronic game controller to use with their computer. Further coding activities will allow pupils to program and run a custom lights program before installing and playing the TinyPONG game!
Finally with the MAKE section of the workshop complete, students will be shown how to BREAK their builds and successfully disassemble the various components.
Impact on Learning and Curriculum links:
Make n’ Break Computers is a highly innovative, engaging and hands on experience for students that brings together practical skills with computational thinking.
This workshop is designed to complement the Key Stage 2 & 3 Computing National Curriculum as well as having significant cross curricular links to the Key Stage 2 & 3 Design and Technology National Curriculum.
- Coding and debugging
- Variables and repetition
- Logical Reasoning
- Explore different software and its purpose
- Use technology safely and for purpose
- Textual programming language
- Boonlean logic
- Binary digits
- Creative projects
- Digital artifacts
Design and Technology:
- Use a wider range of tools and equipment
- Understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world
- Understanding of computing to program, monitor and control product
- Understand and use electrical systems in their products
Make n’ Break Computers is accessible and adaptable to students of all abilities. Through the use of pre-printed overlays, we are able to increase or decrease the complexity of the builds. Before your workshop is delivered we will discuss any individual needs your class may have.