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STEM Learning Magazine: Post-16 and FE - Summer 2016

Pioneering technical services are explored in the cover article of the summer issue of STEM Learning Magazine for Post-16 and FE sectors. Other articles describe changes to A levels and GCSEs,  provide advice on conducting A level biology practicals, and look into investigating radiation levels from space. There is...

The Scratch patch - substitution cipher

This project, exploring basic encryption, is a useful introduction to data security as well as iterating through strings to manipulate them. The program create a ‘substitution cipher’, one of the most basic forms of encryption. It also demonstrates that, for more complex chained commands, Scratch becomes rather...

The Scratch patch - error handling

This activity is an introduction to writing programs that can handle errors. It also helps students to understand number bases, by guiding them through the writing of a ‘base converter’ program.

Where Would You Photograph? (7-11)

In this activity children take on the role of Earth observation scientists submitting a request for an image they would like for their research. This gives them the opportunity to consider the possibilities of pictures taken from orbit (and the limitations) and to write scientifically for a specific audience. It...

Where Would You Photograph? (14-16)

In this activity students take on the role of Earth observation scientists submitting a request for an image they would like for their research. This gives them the opportunity to consider the possibilities of pictures taken from orbit (and the limitations) and to write scientifically for a specific audience. It...

Seeing Temperatures

This activity allows students to investigate how images are produced from data streams by using first a spreadsheet and then an image-processing program. They then go on to see how the usefulness of such a monochromatic image may be enhanced by using lookup tables and calibration. The materials used focus on the...

Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror

In August 2012, an unmanned rover touched down on the surface of Mars. NASA's Curiosity Rover was sent to take measurements of the atmosphere and martian terrain in an effort to understand more about the history of Mars and whether the planet ever sustained life. This video shows an animation of the incredible...

CS4FN Issue 8

This issue of Computer Science for Fun is entitled ‘Computer Science in Space’, and explores the role of computers in space exploration and astronomy.

It includes articles covering:

• Computer scientists working for NASA

• GPS and computer art projects that love your data

• Computers,...

Building Images

In this activity, students create colour images from satellite data. This allows them to study how different surfaces reflect different wavelengths of light, how coloured images are created using an RGB model, and how band combinations can be chosen to examine a particular landscape effectively.

Introduction to VEX Robotics

In this full scheme of work, designed for a series of two-hour double-lessons, students develop a Mars Rover for NASA based on a standard VEX design. They learn about the components of a robotics system including control units and data communications, and work through a design process towards a prototype. The VEX...

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