roBOtour: animated city guide made with models, mBot and Makey Makey

school: IC21 Bologna, club Girls Code it Better

dates: november 16, 2021-may 7, 2022

Girls Code it Better” is a national initiative aimed to reduce the gender inequality in STEM studies and careers. The project has been active since 2015 and this year 82 schools are involved.

When students are in the age range from 11 to 13, their future career choice may be supported by an experience that encourages them to approach STEM studies with more self-confidence. This is why the project addresses girls in the early years of secondary school, and engages them in science and technoogy active learning.

Each school has its own “Girls Code it Better” club, and up to 20 girls can participate; they meet together at school once a week, and develop a project based learning activity based on STEM.

The girls club must carry on their project, from idea to product, in a complete project based learning cycle; each participant takes a role in the project management, depending on their interests and skills, in a cooperative environment; at the end they present their work in a national event and in local school events. 

IC 21 girls code it better club

In the first phase they started exploring the school’s lab equipment, guided by a teacher and a professional maker: 

  • how to program a mBot with mBlock
  • how to make circuits with Makey Makey boards programmed by Scratch
  • how to design 3D models with Tinkercad

In the second phase they discussed what to do with these tools, preparing charts to explain their proposals in detail. The ideas must be selected taking into account their feasibility, time and resources needed. 

The club agreed for  a city guide for kids, animated by Scratch, inspired by the “city red bus” tour of Bologna.

ideas for the project

A group of students took the role of programmers and prepared the Scratch scripts that explain history and curiosities about 10 points of interest in the city. 

After programming the single scripts, they have been added into two Scratch projects run by two Makey Makey boards. Each board controls 5 Scratch animations. Their connections are in the following sketches:

links for Scratch projects run by board 1
links for Scratch projects run by board 2

The Scratch projects run by the two makey makey boards are published  in the Scratch website at this link: makey makey board 1 makey makey board 2

The gallery with all Scratch projects of the club is club 2021-2022 – Scratch Studio (

For the mBot guided tour, another group took prepared the models for the city point of interests, with two main “Porticoes” on both sides of the street, that hide the Makey Makey boards inside them. 

The wires connecting the board to the “bus stops” are hidden by carpets simulating the street, and the terminal contacts are aluminum pads. When the mBot is driven onto a couple of conductive pads, its contacts close the circuit making the Scratch animated guide run, according to the path sketch below. 

path sketch for the city tour

Here is a picture of the whole setting and a short video of a trial.

set up of the project
testing phase

The students have been working together since November 2021; they meet at school every tuesday after classes from 2 to 5 p.m. On April 26, their work must be completed and tested. It will be presented at the national project convention on May 7. After this online event, there will be a local exhibition in Bologna called School Maker Day , where students from the whole region show their STEM projects.

STE(A)M Solution To Obesity Problem


We created an eTwinning project which to find solutions to the obesity problem and we implemented most of our lessons with distance education.The project also includes healthy living and quality education efforts that are included in sustainable development goals. Because we wanted to increase students 21. century skills as critical thinking,collaboration, creativity,etc. We tried to explain Stem jobs as statisticians, computer programer, electronic engineering, etc.

SCIENCE : In science lesson Our project science teachers Arzu K.(İstanbul) and Eray B.(Samsun) tried to explain on healthy nutrition in the circulatory system and obesity.With distance learning students walked 1000 steps and create healthy plates.

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In today’s conditions where technological development is very fast, both new generation students and technology are in a closer relationship than teachers. MEB General Directorate of Educational Technologies on the integration of innovation and technology into education policies. It will support permanent and meaningful learning in teachers’ technology classrooms. In this direction, the importance of technology integration increases in teaching new teaching methods and techniques. However, it is seen that the use of multimedia technologies in education is limited. With this study, it is aimed to develop students’ multiple cognitive thinking skills by integrating Scratch into science lessons in the educational environment in 11 secondary schools..

The pictures are the author’s own – (Attribution CC-BY)
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STEM Discovery Week Belgium: 3 in 1 !

Hello to everyone ! My name is Nathalie and I am the founder of a non profit coding lab for kids in Brussels:

I’ve started this project for my 10-year-old son two years ago. He was a hardcore video-gamer and I wanted him to do something useful out of it, not being only a consumer but to become an true creator of his passion.

So for a year, along with some friends, we provided them every week a two hour class on Scratch to learn the basics of CS thinking, creating their own games : Flappy Bird, Scratch, Mario… and to customize them in a way they would liked it most to play.

It was a real success, kids enjoyed it very much. So since other kids wanted to join, we opened our school.

As for the STEM Discovery Week 2019, the initial idea was to give a conference to bring our project, but also to share our reflections about the tools we use. Because of our deep concern for Big Data issues, we think it’s important to engage some critical thinking about the EdTech tools that are used with children.

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