Captivating computing projects

Stephanie Burke
09th April 2019
wires leading to fun computing projects

Hand-picked lesson activities and projects to keep computing students focused and engaged

Project-based work is guaranteed to keep pupils focused, invigorated and motivated, especially once revision and assessments are out of the way. If you are beginning to think of ways to engage your computing and ICT students once exams are over - or even looking for fresh ways to help them consolidate their knowledge and skills in independent study in the run-up to exams - we've got you covered. From schemes of work to multi-lesson activities, we've selected a range of creative resources to help inspire independent thought and critical thinking while practising key computer skills.

KS3 resources

Included in these resources are a couple of Python projects suitable for consolidating programming skills at KS3 level and an ICT project based around developing a theme park. If you are using Micro Bit with your classes, check out the board game project - KS3 students will love this! 

Python Y8 Project Lesson "FutureBot"

I made this as a Y8 consolidation lesson after they had learnt about if, elif, else, while and importing modules such as the random module. There is a Powerpoint to introduce the task, and then three differentiated worksheets where pupils create three different versions of a future predicting bot. My class needed two lessons to do all of the tasks.

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By InteractiveTextbooks

Python - Independent Challenges (Basic)

A short workbook which has a series of challenges which students can try to tackle independently after learning basic programming techniques. For each challenge, students are expected to draw a flowchart, write some pseudocode and then attempt to code it themselves.

We print the booklets out and get students to print/cut/glue their code in, but they could complete them electronically.

At the back of the booklet there is a section with helpful syntax tips - these are linked to each challenge (for example, Challenge 1 needs "INPUT" and "VARIABLE" so the student can refer to these sections at the back).
By tjra

The Theme Park Project

Students use ICT to help out the Theme Park Director.
By samoliver368

Microbit Board Game Project

This resource was used for Year 7 Computing following a unit involving learning about variables, selection, iteration and random number generation using the Microbit. They loved playing the game, especially as they helped to create it!

The idea is to have them use the Microbit as part of the board game. They will program in a dice function for shaking the Microbit, and other features for when they press Button A or B. The game works similarly to Snakes and Ladders. Button A moves the player either forwards or backwards, 6, 4, or 2 spaces (picked randomly by the program), and Button B moves the player up or down by flashing up to 3 up or down arrows (again randomly).

Instructions were given via a worksheet, where the first page (two of the tasks) were given in the first lesson and the final one was given at the start of the second. When they had finished their program they could then download it to the Microbit and play their game. My students ended up with between 10-25 minutes playing time depending on how quickly they programmed their game. They can provide their own playing pieces from pencil cases etc. and the board is provided (A4 printout is fine).

The code is in the screenshots in the PowerPoint slides and can be made up quickly.
By Steve Hawes

KS4 and post-16 resources

Here are some great resources if you are looking for engaging projects that will help to embed ICT or Python programming skills and understanding for KS4.

Festival project

planning, spreadsheets, creating flyer and menu
By fuchsia1

GCSE ICT Theory Project Mobile Phones

Research and website project for GCSE ICT theory. To be taught alongside website skills; evaluation worksheets not yet created.
By teacher_chris

GCSE Computer Science Python Programming Project - Bulls and Cows

A Python programming project for GCSE and IGCSE Computer Science. This is a rich activity involving plenty of algorithmic thinking and hands-on programming exercises building up to the implementation of a fun logic-based game. Each aspect of the project is broken down and explored in detail and code is provided for the preparatory tasks as well as the final solution. Extension activities are provided for more able students. Curriculum Links are provided for Edexcel IGCSE 4CP0 Computer Science, but the material is relevant to all GCSE-level Computer Science courses.

We are committed to providing the highest quality teaching resources which will inspire and engage students while giving teachers everything they need to deliver first-class lessons.

By Compucademy

[GCSE + IGCSE] Python Coursework Mini Project 2D arrays, File Reading and Writing and Sorting

**Teaching Duration: **
For main tasks, 3 lessons. This task can be expanded to challenge the top level students to add more and more features in. A further 1 to 2 lessons where we reverse engineer the flow charts which is very useful skill for the final exam

Who is it for:
Students studying GCSE in preparation for final project. Students studying IGCSE who are consolidating their skills at developing a large project.
Also useful for staff struggling with teaching the course

What’s included
Instruction File: Includes detailed instructions and code that students should enter to complete the project
Student File: partially completed code that students add to
Teacher File: Completed project
Text File: This project includes file reading, this is the text file to use. Make sure to save it in the same folder as the python file, or it will not work

This covers every area of the programming side of the course from Units 1 and 2 completely.
This is a perfect project for students to practice a larger project before tackling the coursework, or as a revision task for the practical exam / paper 2 by reverse engineering code/pseudocode and flow charts which is always a tricky area to learn. This has been in all exemplar papers, as well as the 2018 exam.

By PaperAirplane

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