We were very lucky to be selected as winners of Element14’s Micro:Bit Summer Code Club Challenge!
To help us bring coding to our community we received:
The challenges I set myself for this code club were:
- any age, including adults
- scalable in both number of participants, and complexity
The final idea:
An electronic puzzle/escape room device.
There will be a central “lock box” to which the “lock-master” micro:bit will be connected.
The lock box will be any container that can be secured in such a way that a servo can be used to “unlock”. The box will contain some sort of reward or prize for participants.
It will be programmed to listen on a known
There will be an admin mode that allows the mentor running the session to adjust the number of puzzle bits being used.
The lock-master awaits messages from the puzzle-bits that indicate they have been solved. When all puzzle bits are solved, the servo is activated and the lock-box unlocked.
Things to Consider
Cheating. The initial code will probably just wait for 5 “unlocked” messages.
This can be enhanced:
- check the serial number sent from each micro:bit
- an initial “setup” stage that records the serials of the “allowed” puzzle-bits
Suggestion: leave it open, have a discussion about hacking, let participants try to hack, secure, and hack again
These are the micro:bits that participants will work with.
They will be provided with a template that includes the steps needed to send the “puzzle solved” message to the lock-master.
Participants then create a puzzle (as simple or as complicated as they like) for a user to solve.
Minimum session time: 2 hours.
- brief description of micro:bit
- show maker:code
- download basic “press button->message” example
- verify download is working with known good code
- go over basic loops and logic
- go over displaying messages
- introduce the sensors
- practice. Potentially limit sensors covered if time is short.
- Challenge: Come up with a puzzle for a person to solve on your micro:bit
- introduce template code that sends “solved” message to master
- Wrap up:
- swap puzzle-bits with other participants, see if group can unlock the lock box and earn the reward!
- movement based puzzles (accelerometer, compass)
- physical inputs (switches, LDR, etc)
- other sensors
- connecting to more advanced computers (eg puzzle on Raspberry Pi, BrainPad Arcade, …)
- location of a cooler full of ice blocks, etc
- discount coupons to an escape room (working on that for Courtenay.)