In this activity, students are going to build a “Digital Telegraph” that supports communication between two BBC micro:bits. While doing this, students will explore the phenomenon of electricity and its vital role in communication, and they will be encouraged to reflect on the impact electricity has had in the world of communications.
They will also be introduced to the concept of encoding, ASCII & UNICODE tables, Morse Code and finally to cryptography. Furthermore, they will be encouraged to explore the role of cryptography in modern society and in the past and will have the option of studying Alan Turing’s work and its impact on the Second World War.
After building the Digital Telegraph, students will write programs so that the two micro:bits will communicate with Morse Code. By writing these programs, they are going to study the concepts of input, output, repetion, event oriented programming and the selection structure.
Moreover working on this activity they are going to study various concepts from physics, such as open and closed electric circuits, electric power source, electric current and earthing.
The lesson plan is mapped to NGSS and ISTE standards and complies with the Greek curriculum of ICT and physics. It has an interdisciplinary approach encompassing ICT, physics and history.
The 21st Century skills that are expected to be gained while doing this activity are:
1. Techical skills: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Software Engineering, and ICT skills such as computational thinking.
2. Learning and innovation skills: critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration, creativity and innovation.
In future lessons, this activity could be adapted to use two Arduino Unos.