Here are are a few cool things you can try with students of almost any age. Some off these are expensive, some are free. Try things and share your experiences.
Hour of Code
A basic introduction to coding and computational thinking concepts.
A good starting point before moving on to other projects.
A graphical (drag and drop) programming environment for creating games, animations, interactive stories, and presentations.
- Can be used by any students that can read (probably best in grade 3 and up).
- Works great on Chromebooks or any other machines.
- There is also ScratchJr on tablets for younger students.
e.g. “Math with Scratch Demo” by MisterHay
A small circuit board for interfacing real-world things with a computer/Chromebook.
- Use wires to connect anything conductive, the computer sees it as a keyboard and mouse.
- Works great with Scratch
mBot is an easy-to-use and inexpensive ($100 or so) programmable robot.
- Wireless connection to the computer
- Two motors
- Two RGB LEDs that can be programmed to display almost any color
- Speaker (for playing tones/notes)
- Infrared transmitter and receiver for communicating with other mBots, TVs, etc.
- Ultrasonic distance sensor
- Line follower sensor (can tell whether it is on a dark line or not)
It can be programmed with mBlock, which is based on Scratch, or via Arduino code.
e.g. line follower by JohannHöchtl
Build with LEGO, program with a graphical environment.
e.g. NXT-G programming by Steve Jurvetson
On a related note, check out LEGO Digital Designer (for Windows or Mac) and Build with Chrome (for Chrome).
Raspberry Pi computer
A small, inexpensive (less than $50) single-board desktop computer.
- Just requires a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and cables.
- KanoOS is kid-friendly and has a number of great coding activities built in.
- Many interesting projects have been built with them.
Virtual Circuits123d.circuits.io allows students to create virtual circuits. Works on Chromebooks or other computers.
Google Cardboard Virtual Reality Headset
Very inexpensive, about $5 each.
Requires a relatively recent Android phone or iPhone (4S or newer).
Experience VR games and simulations
Watch 3D and/or 360° videos.
Students may even be able to record VR photos and videos using mobile apps.
Stop Motion Animation
On a Chromebook or any computer with a webcam: Chrome Stop Motion Animator app
Many Android stop motion apps available as well.
Video and Audio Production
e.g. video projects, podcasts, radio dramas
- And many others
EIPS owns (and insures) two Phantom 3 video drones for schools can borrow.
Students can also fly smaller indoor drones such as a Syma X2.
For examples of videos with drones, see http://haytech.blogspot.ca/2016/04/drone-videography-examples.html