Learners coding and exploring with ThinkerShield and Arduino
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Technology Workshop

Duration: 45 minutes
From Term 1, 2022 Powerhouse Ultimo

Learn to control digital devices, design algorithms and digital solutions for real world applications in this 45-minute workshop at the Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo.

Stage 2

Learners will use the block-based coding system Scratch, to code interactive stories or games, building their skills in problem solving and computational thinking.

Scratch is a visual coding language that encourages young people to think creatively and collaboratively, as they build their own combinations of codes to manipulate digital characters or sprites.

Stages 3–5

Learners will be introduced to the basics of coding and physical computing through the ThinkerShield and Arduino.

Tailored to support the Technology and Applied Sciences in Stages 4–5, this interactive guided workshop is also perfect for classes using the NSW Department of Education’s Crack the Code unit.

ThinkerShield is a unique combination of microprocessor (brain) and electronic components (inputs: buttons, sensors; outputs: lights, sounds, etc), which are controlled by computer code.

An open-source electronics prototyping platform, based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software, Arduino is designed for artists, designers, hobbyists and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. Read more about Arduino.

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Syllabus Links


Science and Technology K-6

Digital Technologies

  • Defines problems, describes and follows algorithms to develop solutions (ST2-3DP-T) 
  • Describes how digital systems represent and transmit date (ST2-11D1-T) 
  • Plans and uses materials, tools and equipment to develop solutions for a need or opportunity (ST3-2DP-T)
  • Defines problems, and designs, modifies and follows algorithms to develop solutions (ST3-3DP-T)
  • Explains how digital systems represent data, connect together to form networks and transmit data (ST3-11DI-T) 

Inquiry Questions

How do digital systems share information and instructions? 

Why do we represent data in different ways? 

How are algorithms used to develop digital systems? 

How do components of digital systems interact with each other to transmit data?


Science 7-10

Technology Mandatory Stage 4: 


  • develop thinking skills when designing and producing digital and non-digital solutions 


  • TE4-4DP
    designs algorithms for digital solutions and implements them in a general-purpose programming language 


Information and Software Technology Stage 4: 


  • 1 knowledge and understanding of a range of computer software and hardware 


  • 4.1.1 recognises and uses software programs that are suitable for specific tasks  
  • 4.1.2 identifies and demonstrates appropriate use of a range of hardware 


Information and Software Technology Stage 5: 


  • 1 knowledge and understanding of a range of computer software and hardware 


  • 5.1.1 selects and justifies the application of appropriate software programs to a range of tasks 
  • 5.1.2 selects, maintains and appropriately uses hardware for a range of tasks 


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Learning Resources

These Learning resources will help teachers continue exploration in coding after the program at the Powerhouse. 

Scratch games, animations and software can be found online at MIT.

The software used in the program is the open source Arduino. Learners can continue their work in physical computing projects. 

Our ThinkerShield project ideas page showcases inspirational and fun inventions. 

Visit the Crack the code unit of work for more information. 

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