Lesson 7 – The Micro:bit Compass
After a small diversion to build and test our rocket cars, we are now back on track with out space programme and this week we’re looking at how the micro:bit can be used as a compass to measure the number of degrees from magnetic north and to show the appropriate compass direction on the micro:bit screen.
We started by using a simple compass picture to decide what values we would use in our micro:bit code to show the 4 main compass points:
The pupils completed a simple table to capture the values needed for our code.
We then used the values in the table to write the micro:bit code – we started just with one compass point and then simply copied and pasted the if-condition and updated the values for the remaining points.
We then used our micro:bit compasses to play a game. The pupils took turns (in teams of two) to hide a small packet of sweets somewhere in the school and then to write down instructions for the other member of their team to find the sweets using the compass and the instructions! Everyone had a lot of fun and I’m sure all of the sweets were eventually found – but we did learn that ranges of 40 degrees left a lot of room for error when using it for navigation!
We will be using the micro:bit in our near-space programme to capture the orientation of our space-balloon payload throughout the duration of it’s flight.