Just before the school summer holidays a school class, a 6th-grade, visited Dokk1 to participate in the test of our Micro:bits and the daughterboard extensions developed by the Alexandra Institute. These extensions have transformed the Micro:bits into tools which can measure sound level.
Our goal for the class was to teach them about data – what data is, what it looks like in digitised form, what we can use data for and, in this project, how we can use it to find the sound of Aarhus and eventually maybe find a nice place to hang out – a concrete oasis.
Due to a delay of the development of the extensions we had to change the set-up for our school class. Instead of two visits at Dokk1 with a week in between in which the kids would gather data by measuring sound levels at different locations, we had to scale down the test to a one-day visit.
When the kids and their teacher showed up, they were very much looking forward to taking part in this test. By starting the day with a talk about data – how we use and produce data every day – the topic of the day was soon clear.
This led on to a relevant and interesting talk with the class and afterwards we went on to producing our own data and to seeing how differently we all interpret the same data depending on focus. The kids showed their different interpretations by building data sculptures.
Now they were ready to continue with the Micro:bit set-up. We explained how to use the Micro:bits and then they chose a location where they would measure the sound level.
On returning they could see the sound level, a small blue dot with a number between 1 and 100 depending on the level.
Unfortunately, the class had hoped for a bit more, so this clearly shows us that it is important to spike up the project with more information on the map. The time of the day, date, description of the place and tags are all important features which could make the project more understandable and more interesting to the kids.
However, this test was very valuable to us since it gave us data and ideas on how to get on with our project.