As part of the STEM into Action with D&T programme, we are going to be making available the new micro controller Crumble. This truly game-changing device opens up countless possibilities for ‘embedded intelligence’ as required by the new national curriculum. We are going to provide you with ideas for design and make projects that make use of this device so that you really can cover this new requirement: ‘When designing and making… pupils apply computing and use electrical and electronic systems […] in their products.’ We appreciate that many of you working on this project do not currently have the experience in this area and have not been able to access CPD. Our intention is to provide you with simple, short online CPD so that you will feel confident to use this resource and address one of the two projects we will provide. Recent experience is that that pupils learn to use it very quickly themselves!
What makes it unique is the much lower cost than any comparable device and the ease of use. So although we will give you a number of Crumbles to use, you may well wish to buy more. They can be used over and over again or in some cases, you may allow pupils to take them home subject to them making a contribution to the cost. The beauty is that you do not have to solder wires onto the board unless you want to. The holes allow for small crocodile clips to connect to them easily.
Non-electronics specialists can use it right away BUT, at the same time, it offers unlimited potential for advanced users – including electronics professionals.
You simply create a programme on a computer screen by moving icons into the right position – e.g., to turn things on and off – and then plug in the Crumble. The programming software is come via a quick free download and can be run on PC or Mac platforms. Pupils will be familiar with the language as it is a version of Scratch that they well have used in primary school. The programme is immediately transferred and turns Crumble into whatever you tell it to do. Drawing power from a very small battery, it might be applied to anything from turning LEDs on and off in smart clothing to driving and steering a robot.
We are convinced that this is a significant piece of kit set to make simple the embedding of control and intelligence into products that pupils design and make. The question is, how far can you take it?
Back to Updates