Master Classes
Micro:bit Microcontrollers and the Internet of Things 
Years 6, 7 and 8: Programming and Game Design

In 2018 for the first time in history, there were more devices connected to the Internet of Things than there are people on earth . . . In 2020 there will be 31 Billion of them, but what kind of devices are these and why are they significant? Well, the vast majority of IoT devices are microcontrollers, small computers that live on one microchip and have less than 1% of computing power and memory of a smartphone. They are however very significant because they interface with the real world by sensing the environment and making automatic decisions. They operate traffic lights, automatic doors and elevators as well as all of your home appliances. In this masterclass, you will be learning to program one such microcontroller, called BBC micro:bit using Python. The micro:bit can sense acceleration, magnetic field, temperature, light intensity and human touch. We program games that measure reaction time and memory, distributed alarm systems and smart fitness gadgets that track your steps and help your coordination and balance.
Session 1: Introduction to MicroPython
In this session, we learn about microcontrollers, the Internet of Things and we program our first two games. The first of which is a Magic 8 Ball Game, the second is a Button Masher Program which is similar to cookie clicker game
Session 2: Reaction Time Games
In this session, we will program a game that measures how fast you can react to a light signal in hundredths of a second and then we will adapt our code to measure how fast you can make a simple decision (to press button A and button B)
Session 3: Brick Dodging Game and Balance Dot
This session is all about the measurement of forces using the built-in accelerometer, the first application we will build is a seismometer which displays the forces on x, y and z axis. We will follow this by creating a balance dot game where a dot moves by tilting the micro:bit and goes on to collect other dots
Session 4: Two Player Games and Radio Systems
In this session, we will build a two-player dice game and modify the Reaction time game to make it a 2 player game that you can play against a friend. We will wrap up the session demonstrating how these same 2 player games could be played with multiple micro:bits and discussing various applications that become possible as we use more micro:bits that are connected to each other via radio

Harry Potter and Data Science with Python
Years 6, 7 and 8: Computer Science

It’s interesting to ponder what makes humans unique among all the known living creatures, for the most part it is our developed intelligence and ability to work together to solve complex problems both of which are made possible by human language. One has to wonder what would be possible if we were truly understood by our phones and computers that possess which have millions of times more memory and processing power than we do . . . probably a world changing technological revolution, referred to by some a Technological Singularity. In this masterclass we are going to be taking our first steps in Natural Language Processing a computer science field that deals with programs that analyse and understand human language. We are going to be creating algorithms that read books and derive meaning from them as well as visualise the data presented by those books in graphs. The books we will study as examples (students can analyse any book in their own time) are going to be the five Harry Potter Books.
Session 1: Tokenization and Basic Sentiment Analysis
In this session we break up the books into chunks that are easy to analyse: words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters. We will then analyse the data to find out which chapters and paragraphs and the most descriptive and the most emotionally charged!

Session 2: Finding protagonists and Creating Spectacular Data Visualisations
In this session we will learn how to create dictionaries in Python and use those together with a special tool that isolates proper nouns in order to create a ranked list of proper nouns, thus finding out who the protagonists in the book are! We will also put these on a chart to visually represent how many times each character is mentioned in the book.

Session 3: Sorting characters into heroes and Villains
Now that we know who the most popular character in the book are we are going to find out if they are a hero or a villain and give each of them a score that indicates how much of a hero or a baddie they are. We are also going to represent this data on a bar graph.

Session 4: Mapping out Emotional Arcs of Each character
In this final session we are going to visually chart the famous Hero’s Journey coined by Joseph Campbell that describes a similar pattern in many famous stories where a character ventures out to get what they need, faces conflict, and ultimately triumphs over adversity. Picture that in a graph mapping out the emotional states of each of our protagonists as the book goes chapter by chapter: the results may surprise you!

Ravin' About Poe 
Years 6, 7 and 8: Language and Literature

Introduction: Imagine writing the first work of fiction to use cryptography (secret codes) - maybe with a pirate map and buried treasure for good measure. Imagine inventing the world’s first ‘modern’ fictional detective, and having your creation lay the foundations for an entire genre of literature. Imagine composing poems so memorable that quotes from them have become engrained in our common language. Imagine creating stories so spine-tingling that it triggered a Gothic and horror fiction mania, and sparked strange mythologies about you. Imagine being so extraordinary that your grave was visited by a mysterious stalker for 75 YEARS after your death. Imagine remaining so unforgettable that your name and writing became an answer to the most puzzling riddle in literature… Now imagine being ALL those things at once… because THAT was Edgar Allen Poe! And in this masterclass series we’ll be investigating this classy master of the macabre, digging up well-earned treasure and delving into well-crafted terror with some of his most famous fictions, and stirring up his immortal tales and tropes into heart-stopping, blood-chilling, thrill-seeking, fun-loving story-telling of our own…

Session One: Decoding The Gold Bug
Code-breaking, cipher-building, treasure-hunting and story-crafting – today’s session is its own action-adventure inspired by a blockbuster award-winning short story that shot Poe to fame. X marks the plot as we solve (and resolve?) the invisibly-inked problems of popularity, racism and piracy in The Gold Bug before designing new mysteries, maps and crytographs to underpin our own takes of high adventure...

Session Two: Unearthing The Purloined Letter
Pit wits with the great detective Dupin as we encounter a locked room, a lost secret, an ingenious solution – and a complex allegory beloved of literary critics…? Poe’s prose in The Purloined Letter will be forced to unveil the secrets within its secrets, as we both explore the ways in which our own text analysis becomes an act of ‘ratiocination’ and detective skill, and use a similarly ‘simple’ narrative to create our own speculative tale about some of the ‘real’ mysteries of writing and language…

Session Three: Releasing The Bells
The Mad Hatter and Lewis Carroll asked “Why is a raven like a writing desk?”, but this riddle and arguably Poe’s most famous poem may soon be drowned out today by the stunning music and startling onomatopoeia of The Bells. This weird and wonderful poetic earworm churns up neologism and metaphor, and chimes the merry with the morbid, and will form the soundtrack to our own sensory-driven poesy and prose as we write into AND against Poe’s verses…

Session Four: Surviving The Pit and the Pendulum Comedic troupe Monty Python insisted that no-one expects the Spanish Inquisition, and our final fable from the pen of Poe ensured no-one would expect the ending to this historical tale of terror. You too will soon be a master of the macabre once we’ve dissected description and gnawed through narrative to reveal the extraordinary precision with which Poe structures suspense, tightens tension, and dreams up a gloriously Gothic nightmare – and then plundered it for creepy character-centric creations of our own…

Game Design with Pygame
Years 6, 7 and 8: Computer Science

Session 1: Introduction to Pygame
In this session students get introduced to Pygame, its special functions and go on to draw a variety of shapes on the Pygame screen. We conclude by creating a ball that bounces off the edges of the screen

Session 2: Paddle Ball Game
In this session we upgrade the bouncing ball into a game very similar to pong where the player controls a paddle either by a mouse or arrow keys and tries to keep the ball from dropping down. This is a challenge because the game keeps getting harder as the score increases

Session 3: game
In this session we will get introduced to Object Oriented Programming which is a mode of programming used with most computer games. We will create blob and food objects and have blobs collect food and then try to eat each other with a wonderful catch only bigger blobs can eat smaller blobs but smaller blobs are faster than the bigger blobs .

Session 4: Mini Space Invaders
In this session we apply object oriented programming to an all time classic game concept space invaders. We will re-create one level of this game creating a hero, an enemy (which is cloned 20 times) and give the hero the ability to shoot which sets the stage for an epic battle to for our home planet.

Algebra: Weapon of Math Instruction 
Years 6, 7 and 8: Mathematics

Session descriptions coming soon…
Session 1: For Every X there is a Reason
• Where did Algebra originate?
• Language of Algebra
• Expressions & properties
• One variable equations

Session 2: Exponents we are Talking Power
• Exponents and Roots
• Index laws
• Surds

Session 3: Linear Functions: Every X has its Y
• Linear functions
• Proportional relationships
• Other curves

Session 4: Problem Solving: Merely a problem with a Guaranteed Solution
• Polynomials
• Problem solving