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Astro-Pi is music to Tim Peake's ears!

New music-based coding competition kicks off
The Astro Pi Coding Challenges, launched on February 3rd, pose a specific problem to the students and asks them to solve it with code.
 
David Honess from Raspberry Pi Foundation explains. "Tim told us that the software for updating his MP3 player is not approved for the ISS laptops, so he’s potentially facing another four months without any new music.”
 
Cue new coding challenge for the Astro-Pi! 
 
One of the two Astro-Pis on board the ISS

There are currently two challenges on offer, which are both music‐based. The first asks students to write Python code to turn the Astro Pi into an MP3 music player, something that it was never designed for. The students will need to program the buttons, joystick and LED display to provide an iPod‐like interface, so that Tim can plug in headphones and listen to music.

The second challenge requires students to compose their own music using a tool called Sonic Pi. This allows music to be created using lines of code, and is a really fun and engaging way to learn to program. Tim will then use the MP3 player code from the first challenge to listen to the second challenge's music on board the ISS.
 
The competition is open to all primary and secondary school‐age students who are resident in the United Kingdom, and it's supported by a comprehensive range of teaching resources that are available for free on the Astro Pi website. The deadline for submissions is March 31st.

The competition is being run across four age categories ‐ 11 years and under, 11 to 14 years, 14 to 16 years and 16 to 18 years ‐ with a winner selected from each for both challenges.

In total, four MP3 players and a minimum of four songs will be uploaded and played by Tim in space – the most exclusive concert venue imaginable. 

Tim with one of the Astro Pis prior to launch
 
Tim Peake says "This competition offers a unique chance for young people to learn core computing skills that will be extremely useful in their future. It’s going to be a lot of fun!"
 
The judging will be conducted by a panel of experts selected from industry partners that have been involved in the Astro Pi project from the start. These are UK Space Trade Association , UK Space Agency , European Space Agency , Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd , Airbus Defence and Space, CGI , QinetiQ , ESERO UK , National STEM Centre , and Space KTN.
 
The winners will have their code uploaded to the ISS and used by Tim on the Astro Pi computers (on a best‐effort basis subject to operational constraints).

More details on how to enter are on the Astro-Pi website.  
 

 

 
 

 

 

19 February 20160 Comments1 Comment

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