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英語で電気工作教室 (10)


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土, 04 2月 2023 18:23

Skidamarink a dink a dink

   Valentine's Day is almost here, so today in our Kinder class we did the Skidamarink Song. Over the years this song has proved very popular and today was no exception! If you want to practise at home here is a video from the folks at Super Simple with Tobee and friends.

  Before you ask, even after twelve years of using this song in my classes, I still have no idea what a 'skidamarink' is!!


水, 25 1月 2023 18:32

Making Towers from Paper Straws

   Towards the end of last year, and as part of our upper-elementary school aged classes, I challenged each class to construct a tower using only paper straws and sellotape.

   The reason for making the towers was that we were studying various famous towers around the world such as the Eiffel Tower, the Gerkin, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Ostankino Tower and the Great Lighthouse of Alexandria as part of their textbook, Macmillan English. Unfortunately the children were not so impressed with these real world towers so get them more excited about the topic I let them build their own.

  The results can be seen in the video below.


As part of our continuing series (including The THREE Little PIGS) of taking a hike in the great outdoor to enjoy a cup of tea and a snack. This video find us up on Imakuma-yama in Hachioji.

Happy New Year everybody!


水, 30 11月 2022 17:03


We started our Christmas lessons on Saturday. First song of the season was the S-A-N-T-A a festive variation from Super Simple Songs of the B-I-N-G-O song.

Video and link is below, enjoy!! And careful with those claps!


Paul tries his hand, or should that be tongue, at the most well known tongue twister in the English langauge.
This video was made in response to our upper elementary aged students confusing 'she' and 'sea'. This is their homework!


In this video Paul prepares some scones and samples some Marmite Crunchy Peanut Butter ( a gift from a Three Little Pigs cafe regular.) He also introduces some of the highlights of a relatively easy day trek from Kita-Kamaura station to Kamakura itself taking in the dizzingly high peak of Ohirayama (159.2m).


木, 27 10月 2022 23:41

Trick or Treat with Ozobot

Currently having a lot of fun with this Halloween activity from the team at Ozobot. The activity involves a brief introduction to the Ozobot color codes, with the aim of getting the Ozobot to collect as much candy as possible as it trundles around the neighbourhood Trick or Treating. The children only need to use 7 codes: slow, quick, fast, go left, go right, go straight and U-turn so even if they have never used an ozobot before it is really easy to pick up. Once they have completed their courses, we then have a competition to see whose Ozobot can collect the most candy...the record at this moment is 14.



日, 23 10月 2022 15:46

英語で電気工作教室 Week 5

If week 4 was about assembling the robot from the SparkFun Pan/Tilt kit, then week 5 was about getting the completed assembly mounted and working.

This week, we were going to be sawing, drilling, soldering and tinkering!

After cutting a length of wood to act as the base, they decided they wanted to add some colour to the wood. Not sure if a whiteboard marker is the best thing to colour wood with, but it gave it a nice vivid red colour!

We then mounted our completed robots onto the base with a couple of small screws. Next it was on to making the robot controller, this consists of two potentiometers (aka pots) fixed to a wooden support. So again after cutting the various bits we glued them together with hot glue. Once this had set, we were then able to drill two holes in the top to allow the potentiometers to be attached but not before we had soldered the leads to the pots!

This actually proved be quite scary for the children, I think the heat of the soldering iron and seeing it melt metal spooked them a little Anyway once all the leads were attached it ws time to connect everything togther. So that meant running the leads from the potentiometers to plus and minus power rails on a breadboard and then running the remaining center lead to the Arduino. We then repeated this with the servos on the breadboard.

Once all those steps were completed and checked it was time to upload the program we had created on mBlock to the Arduino using a USB cable. You can see the completed robot in action in the video below.





日, 16 10月 2022 10:24

A Nice Cup of Tea in Shakujii-koen

As part of our other jobs at The Three Little Pigs cafe next to englishpool, we have recently started making a series of videos where we go out to the countryside and enjoy a picnic.

In this video we were at Shakujii-koen in Nerima, in the north western corner of Tokyo. It was the first time to visit the park here, and it was quite a revealation. The park stretches along two naturally formed ponds and was the site of the Toshima-clans castle a very long time ago. Up until the 1950s the ponds were fed by a natural spring until house building changed the lay of the land, and the spring stopped replenishing the water in the ponds. And judging by the size of some of the houses around the park it's not so difficult to see how they may have affected the topography of the area.

I have never seen such big houses in Tokyo!


日, 16 10月 2022 09:46

英語で電気工作教室 Week 4

Week 4 was all about building the robot. We are using the ROB-14391 pan/tilt bracket from SparkFun as the base of our robots. It is actually designed for mounting a camera on, hence the pan and tilt functions but for us it provides some really cool movement along two axes.

The ROB-14391 comes with all the parts needed to construct it, including the servo motors. So today was all about following instructions, and fiddling with tiny, tiny screws. Needless to say it was quite hands on so I didn't have a chance to take many photos.

Next week we will connecting the completed robot to the arduino, and making a base for it to stand on.

The printed instructions in the kit consist of six diagrams, in the style of Ikea assembly instructions, and were a little dificult to follow. Fortunately I had made a video showing how to build the ROB-14391 a few months ago, so we were able to watch this in the class to help us along.



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