Beetle Blocks


For the last part of term four of design we are with Mrs Watson and we are working on Beetle blocks. Beetle blocks is a program that is similar to Snap but because it is 3D, there is a Z axis as well. The Z axis is in the vertical plane, because in 2D programs the character can not go up. Down below is what I have made in the time we have before the holidays.



Here is the shapes that we made. The class had to start making some shoes that we like 2D shapes except they had width. You can also add some colour to the shape with one of the blocks. I have made a 3D shape though. I’ve only made a few 2D’s.



Here is the Square. It didn’t take much coding because it was such a simple shape. There is another way to make the Square with different coding blocks, same with all of my other shapes that I made. I rotated z by Ninety because that is a right angle which is the only angle that you can do to make a Square.



Here is the Hexagon. Still pretty simple coding to make this shape.  It is very similar to the Square because it lots of the same coding block to create this one. I repeated the ‘Move’ block and the ‘Sphere Dia’ which is short for diameter which would make a straight line. but I turn the angle of the beetle by using the ‘Rotate Z By’ block to turn the direction it was going in. I related that Six time if it was going to be a hexagon.



This is the Dodecagon. This one was a bit harder to make since it was a many faced sided polygon. Yet again the code is very similar to the first two.  This time I rotated the Z axis by Thirty so then the beetle would turn more to get back to the start making it have more faces. I also repeated it Twelve time because it was a Twelve sided shape.



This is the Cube. what I did to get this was I made a Square that is upright then I copied it four times but I had to reset the Square every time. I think I could have done the code a lot faster because I could have just repeated the part of the code that needed to be redone. My code is very repetitive.


Hexagon rotational shape

Here is the Hexagon rotational shape. I made this shape by repeating a Hexagon six times but every time it does a Hexagon it rotates around sixty degrees so it goes around evenly. The ones under the first snips look completely different but I only changed one thing which shows how important it is to be precise with your coding. That one thing was how many repeats the inner repeat repeated.

The Divider block divides the number on the left side into equal parts. The number on the right hand side is for how much the Divider block splits it into. For example: the Divider block in the code above divides three hundred and sixty into six even parts so that the shape you want to make is symmetrical.


Rotational shape

This is a shape made by using the X axis. I made this shape by using the Y and Z axis. by the time I made this I was still experimenting. I really like this one because it goes up and also under as well as just stay the same height. There is also a smaller inner bit inside of the big one which I think is cool.


Octagon tower

This is the Octagon tower that I made. it didn’t take that much code because it is pretty simple. it did use the divide block like the other ones above. The outer repeat block can be whatever number you want, if you want the tower to be high like it is in mine the set the number to something like one hundred but that would be really high.


Parts, Purposes and complexities


The Project that we are showing today is the School system: parts people and interactions. Also the Parts, Purposes and Complexities of our object. The object could be anything that is electronic and that could fit inside a shoebox. My object was a torch. Further Down the blog you will see a detailed drawing of the torch and its parts. The parts will have an explanation of what it’s purpose and what its complexities are.



The school system

Here you will find the scan of my work in my design folder / book. It is listing some things that are in the school here. For example, Parts, is listing the things that are part of our school, People is listing the different jobs at the school and what we call them, and the Interactions is listing the interactions that make reactions so things happen around the school.


Scan of drawing

here is the scan of the drawing that we had to of our object. It took a whole design session for me because I was away for half of it. Because the torch had a blue cover with a lumpy surface on the place where you put your hand so it took a long time. There is a drawing of the torch with and without colour.


Photo’s of parts

Here are some photos of the parts inside of the object that I brought in. There isn’t much because the blue protection cover that I told you about was really hard to get off so it took a long time. The cover still hasn’t come off because there was a black piece if circular plastic at the near bottom of the torch that just wouldn’t budge. Even the metal tools that we were allowed to use couldn’t break it off.


The things I learnt

These are things I learnt from trying to take apart my object. Torches are actually way more complicated than just pressing a button to turn it on and off. They need to be assembled in a certain way otherwise it won’t turn and or it won’t work. I found out that if you don’t tighten a torch tight enough the torch will not turn on. When pressed, the power button connects to some metal so that the electricity can pass through to turn on the light. But when the button is clicked again it disconnects the electricity flow so the light will not be able to turn on.




This is the part of the project where we start making a model that does something. For this we can work with a partner. I am working with Fidel. We already know what we a going to make: a Light house. You already know that my object is a torch but Fidel object is a green robot with lots of legs and you can control it with a controller.



Scan of design

Here you will find the scan of the drawing of the Light house in my design book. It has the materials that we will need to use to make our Light house and also the ideas we had before we chose the what we were going to make. We have made a decision to put my torch as a the actual light. As we have pulled our objects apart it will not work but we are going to use the Humming Bird LED lights to light up instead of the torch. Fidel’s robot’s legs will be some surfers at the beach.

Photos of creation

These are the photos of our light house creation so far. We have made the bottom / middle bit of the Light house with cardboard and Makedo’s. are going to try and get the project finish in the short time we have till the end of this year. This is what we have done so far. there is no more lessons on this project so I am sad.

Achievement in the project

Although we didn’t finish the project I am going to tell you what Fidel and I achieved. We were able to make the base of the light house and also we made the beach it was over looking. We didn’t get to attach the torch to the base of it we also didn’t get to make the code. I didn’t get to make the code because most of our design sessions were basically taking apart our objects because they we so hard. We also didn’t get to attach Fidel’s robots legs. What we were going to do was put the humming bird inside of the base of the light house and stick my torch to the servo motor which was connect by a cord to the H B (humming bird). There was also supposed to be a L.E.D light going through the back of the torch producing the light since the torch no longer worked. I really enjoyed this project and I hope I get to work on another one like it.

Term 4 Sphero Blog

In this project I am working with Harry Garland and myself. This is a project on learning how to program the Sphero on the Sphero app. We are allowed to bring in our own electronics if we have any. I brought in my Mini Sphero and my iPad because I have the app. My goal is to make a few games with the Sphero and also makes some shapes.


Here you will find the shapes I made during a lesson when harry was away. I got a lot done this lesson seeing as I have done lots of shapes and have done a lot of coding. There will be photos of the code for each shape.


The square

This shape is the Square, pretty simple. We made it by programming it with the code below. Also we had to figure out the degrees for the Square. There is also a video of the Sphero making the Square.


The triangle

This shape here is the Triangle. The way we made the code for it was we altered the code from the Square to have different degrees on the coding blocks. We also made the Triangle smaller by reducing the time it would go forward for and reducing the Spheros speed.



The rectangle

This shape is the Rectangle. We were able to make this shape by duplicating the Square and altering it by making the code for two of the four control blocks to go a bit faster so it would make a Rectangle. In the pictures and video below you can see what I mean.




The rhombus

The shape here is the Rhombus. we made the code by starting with the Square but then we changed the code; we made the second turn, turn a bit less so it would have a sixty degree turn and the fourth turn, turn a bit more so that it would be able to get back to the starting point.


The hexagon

This shape is the Hexagon. We made this one from scratch. It had been changed a lot because it was hard to figure out how to get the right degree and how long it should roll for. This one was probably one of the hardest ones to do.



This is where the games are. Here you will find the games, Hot potato game and the toss game. For these we followed tutorials on how to make them and how to use them. It was really fun making them.


The Hot potato game

This is the hot potato game. How we made is we had to make some variables to get it to work and there was a lot of coding involved. Down below is the code. Sorry there is no video of Harry and I playing it.

Toss Game

This is the toss game. The way we made it was we used the L.E.D light blocks as well as the loop and the sensors which basically makes up the whole game.

I was away for most of the design lessons that we had on Spheros.

Mini Golf Project


For term three we were given the challenge of creating Toy story five, The block or Mini golf in a group. I chose Mini golf. For this project I am working with Harry Garland and Angus Boydell. We will be trying to make a track that has many obstacles but isn’t very big. Our golf course is going to have a farm theme. It will contain a windmill, a barn, a fake gravel path and a bridge. Here are my designs / plans and code. I have a good feeling about this project, I think that we are going to be a successful group for this challenge. I really hope it will work!




Down below are the obstacles that will be in the course to make it harder to get to the finish. Most likely there will be a very low chance that you will get to the finish in one hit.

The Windmill

Currently we are working on our windmill which is the first obstacle on the track. It will continuously turn around as an obstacle in the course. It is powered by an EV3 Lego brick. We have stuck cardboard pieces onto the ends of the arms as flaps. This is only the start of the windmill. As you can see it works pretty well but it will not be spinning that fast in the actual course, we might just slow it down a bit.

Now we have stuck some cardboard pieces to the sides of the windmill. There was one problem, the cardboard covered where the inputs would be, so I cut some holes where the inputs were. Problem fixed. Also, we increased the speed of the windmill, because it was too slow and therefore it was a very easy obstacle to get past. I think the windmill will be an success. Hopefully.

We have now glued together some pieces of wood to make a half box surrounding the windmill. It is there so it covers up the Lego. we still have not glued the wood onto the actual board yet but I think will be done next lesson. After that is done we might make a roof for the windmill also made out of the same material. We also stuck / put a googly eye onto the front of the windmill for decoration. There are some pictures down below to explain a bit more of our progress today. We also added a googly eye at the centre of the windmill, I do not know if you can see it but it is there.


The Draw – bridge

The Draw – bridge is also going to be powered by the EV3 Lego brick. It will move up and down every two seconds. The pictures below show the structure of the bridge. it is not very stable at the moment.

We have also cut out some wood from our board and installed a pole to pull the draw – bridge up and down. Harry, Angus and I are discussing whether we should have a wood platform or an Lego platform for the bridge floor. I think that we should have the Lego floor because it is easier to put on and it will attach really well. We have also coded / programmed  for the draw – bridge to move up and down. But I have not had the chance to take a video of it working yet, Sorry about that. I hope we will get it done in time.


Harry and I had a disagreement about what base we should put on the draw – bridge. Finally we came to an agreement / solution; we put the Lego floor underneath the wood plank so it would give the top one a better support. We attached the wood on to the Lego with sticky tape because it made the bridge a lot smoother and steadier. There are pictures below the top photos that show what it looks like. The bottom left is of under the draw – bridge and the bottom right is of the top of the draw – bridge. I will try and get a video of it working soon.

From the picture above you can see that we have got two very small pieces of wood and sandpapered the edges of them. They are now stuck together and glued to the board to double the height. Your probably wondering what it is for; it is supposed to be a ramp leading up to the draw – bridge since it is too high for the golf ball to roll up smoothly.


The Barn

The barn is going to be a mini house with a hole straight through it so it is harder for the golf ball to get to the other side. We will start making the barn soon but first we need some wood and some nails. Harry expectedly will bring the wood to school and we already have the nails at school. I forgot to tell you earlier that the bar is not an obstacle.

Now we have actually have started working on the barn. It is unusually tall but we don’t mind, it also has some paper with a picture of the side of a barn enlarge on it. The paper is now glued onto the sides of the barn. As you can see from the photos below we put some tiny wood plans inside the barn to stop the ball from getting stuck halfway through. see pictures below.

This lesson we made the roof for the barn. it was really easy because we only had to hot glue some cut out wood bit and stick them together. Also we put two pieces of paper with a picture of some white wood on it to cover up the top.

The obstacle Purposes

The purposes of the obstacles are probably to make the course as hard as possible. For example: the bridge is supposed to lift upwards so the golf ball would either go under the bridge or over. It was designed to stay in the air for longer than on the ground so you would have to time it right otherwise the ball wouldn’t go over. There are also no walls on the bridge so if you don’t hit at the right angle it will roll off the side of the draw-bridge midway.

Real Life Draw – Bridge

The windmill was designed to make it more challenging for the golf ball to pass from one side to the other. It is also spinning pretty fast which would make it harder for people to get the ball though to the other side. Adding to the difficulty, the blades of the windmill are big and wide so it covers up more of the area of the hole under it. Also it can sometimes deflect / bounce the golf ball away from the track. Even if you do get the golf ball through, it might have been touched by one of the windmills blades which would have slowed it down enough for it to stop in its tracks under the windmill.

Real Life Windmill


The decorations

There will also be dirt surrounding the track so if the golf ball gets hit onto the dirt then it will get stuck not just roll of the board. Half of the things on this list we don’t even have, but we are hoping to be able to get them.

  •  Lots of dirt
  •  Some wood strips
  •  Painted on gravel
  •  Fake small animals
  •  Some trees
  •  Grass
  •  Rocks

The order of the decorations / obstacles

Firstly in the course there is the draw – bridge, and then the barn and finally the windmill. on the outside of the track is lots of grassland and rocks and dirt. I also heard from Harry that we are going to have the corner of a house on the board. The actual path will be flat and fluid so the golf ball can roll over the trail with ease. There is one thing that I am not sure of. whether there is going to be tiny little long walls running along side the path or not. I think our project is going pretty well so far. This is our project so far.

As you can see from the photo above, the board is traced with rocks all around the track. We have stuck some of them down but we have only done about a third of the rocks we will need to glue down. I also forgot to mention that Harry brought in a hot glue gun with some hot glue sticks so that helped a lot with the rocks. Just in case you did not know, the space in the middle of the track that looks like a rectangle is actually where the barn is supposed be. I forgot to put it in the picture as we have not hot glued it down yet.

The finished product

We finally finished our project. It took along time but now that it is done I feel a sense of accomplishment. what we had to do to get it to the final stage is we got out some black paint and painted the track black. That task took us quite a bit to do. After that we cut out the fake grass with scissors which is actually really hard to do. Then we Stuck them on half with hot glue but then we ran out of it an we had to start using wood glue. Also we have stuck some real dirt down onto the middle of the track with glue sticks. don’t worry we used the glue sticks before putting down the dirt. Here are some photos and videos to explain a bit more.

I am very happy with our finished golf course. It is a creation that I personally really like because I feel a great achievement that we were able to do this. Next time I do a group project I think I could work on being more understanding of what my teammates want to do. also I would pick a group of people that I would not usually choose to be my teammate. This project has really opened my mind to things that may seem impossible very possible.



My initial goal is to…….

Create a made up creature called the Mabel that lives in the table using cardboard, motors and sensors. The Mabel is a very big parasite that lives inside tables. Here is a scan of my design.


Here are the parts, purposes and complexities of my design:



This is the first iteration of my creature’s system:

[insert video explanation]

[insert screencast of most challenging programming sequence]


The parts which were the most challenging were…….


I was able to get these working by……..



The second iteration of my creature’s system is to…..



Here are the parts, purposes and complexities of the additions to my design:

[insert scan from design book]



This is the second iteration of my creature’s system:

[insert video explanation]

[insert screencast of most challenging programming sequence]


The parts which were the most challenging were…….


I was able to get these working by……..



This is a short film of my learning journey throughout this project:




Lego Robotics

My initial goal is to…….

make a claw machine using a EV3 Brick and some Lego bits.


Here are the parts, purposes and complexities of my design:

Parts: motor, axle, claw, battery

Purpose: a machine that grabs items

Complexities: the motor turns the gear as well as the axle. The axle is fixed to the claw. when the axle turns it moves the claw.

This is the first version of my Lego EV3 project:

my code.


Here are the parts, purposes and complexities of (the additions to) my design:



This is the second iteration/model of my Lego EV3 project:

after this I added a bit more but I didn’t have enough time to make a video. I basically added wheels using another motor and some ball bearings, also I created a holder for the brick on top of the machine.



The parts which were the most challenging were…….

The movement of the motor because for some reason my timing for how long it moved up and down was too long.

I was able to get these working by……..

making it shorter than a second.


This is a short film of my learning journey throughout this project:



A Recent History Of Australia’s Prime Ministers

A Recent History Of Australia’s Prime Ministers

Harry and I are working on a project together. We intend to provide information about the six most recent prime ministers. To do this we will construct a machine that will give information by a voice  speaking to the user. This will include their names and how long the prime ministers were in power for. I expect that you will learn how we construct our machine. I hope you enjoy!


Building The Structure (Lesson 1)

We have built a shell and created a flap at the back of the box to give access to the makey makey which will be placed inside. We added a handle to the flap to make it easier to open and close. Here are some progress pictures.

Connecting The Circuits (Lesson 2)

We have taped a black piece of paper to the front of the box. To this we stuck the names of the prime ministers and each of these will have its own foil tab (see pictures below). Harry and I stabbed holes through the cardboard for foil to come through. The foil has been connected to the makey makey using an alligator clip.

We then built the earth wire part of the circuit (the part of the makey makey that completes the electrical circuit, allowing it to work). We clipped a wire to the base of the makey makey. The user will hold the other end of the wire when operating the machine. Then when they touch the foil under a prime minister’s name, the machine will tell them what they need to know about that prime minister.

Decorating the front and back of the box (Lesson 3)

We created a billboard / sign that advertises the what the machine does. Also we have stuck some sticky tape to the board to help it stand up. At the back of the box we have attached a cord to Harry’s computer so at the presentation will be easier to set up. We will put a speaker inside the machine so you can here the voice more clearly. here are some progress pictures.

Completing the box (Lesson 4)

Today Harry and I finished the box. This included colouring in the sides which have M’s coloured in red, white and yellow to resemble the make makey that is placed inside. We also poked holes through the sides of the box so that when we place the mini speaker inside, the sound will be projected and the voice will be much louder and clearer. If you would like to see some photos of our work, look down below.

As you can see the second two M,s are a bit rushed because the design lesson was about to end but the first two M,s are more detailed because we had more time to draw them. Also, we did add on some extra stands underneath the billboard to help it stand up because it was very droopy. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures that show you the development our box.


Our Scratch code

This is our code on scratch for our project.



overall I think that we went pretty smoothly throughout our project. I’m most happy about Harry and I actually getting our machine done. But I also think that we could have improved on our creativity. The billboard worked out very well and that was my favourite part of the project. If I had the chance to go back and do it again then I would change the design of the box to something more stable. There small problems along the way, like the billboard went floppy half way through so we had to reinforce it will some cardboard stabilizers. Next time we have a task that needs a partners I am going to choose some I wouldn’t usually work with.



These are screen snips of the coding I have completed over the last few design lessons (I apologise that the screen snips are a bit blurry). I have finished some of the beginner activities provided by Microbit. For example: the Magic 8 Ball, Dice, Temperature and Smiley Buttons. So far I have learnt how to program simple things using the coding blocks but I am still in the process of learning the rest. To help avoid errors in my code, I could work on following the website instructions more carefully.

So far, I have learnt:

  •  How to fix small errors in my coding
  •  How to create my own working projects
  •  Where to put the coding blocks