Archive for the ‘Others’ Category

How to Engage 14 Year-Old Students with Mathematics

  • Published May 18, 2018
  • By Dave Catlin

Using Roamer to Explore Islamic Art

Turtle type Robots have always connected to mathematics education; this event with learners from the East London Science School showed why. Computer science teacher Vivita Sequeira invited Roamer to London’s East End to play with over eighty 14-year old students.  Although invented in London this is the story of Roamer’s day trip to another planet.


My Personal Tribute to Seymour Papert

Father of Educational Robotics Dies

Sadly, on the 31st July, Seymour Papert died.  I find moments like this strange.  While it’s to time grieve, it’s also time to remember and since memories of Papert remind me of good things, I also experience a tinge of happiness. I would like to share my reflections.   I hope this isn’t too self-indulgent, but key parts of my life led me to work with  educational robots and they empathise with some of the experiences of this great educator. (more…)

Roamer Routemaster

  • Published January 31, 2015
  • By Students of Kingsdale Foundation School Maths Club, Edward Otenio, Dave Catlin

…Or Roamer and the Clapham Omnibus

When movie makers want to tell their audience they are in London they flash a few images on screen like Tower Bridge, Big Ben or London’s famous red buses – the Routemaster.  The bus is such an integral part of London life the phrase “the man on the Clapham Omnibus” has become a legal term meaning a well educated, reasonable person.  Clapham Common is 5 minutes from Valiant’s office and it is also on London’s South Circular Road which leads to Kingsdale Foundation School in Dulwich.  It was there that the gifted mathematical students of Year 9 used Roamer in an after school project: Designing and Modelling Bus Routes. This is their report. (more…)

Roamer Starts a Reet Grand Tour

  • Published July 4, 2014
  • By Dave Catlin

In 1987 Bradford teacher Doreen Gregory inspired me to design an educational version of Big Trak. That was Classic Roamer.  Tomorrow the world’s greatest cycle race, the Tour de France starts in my home town of Leeds. The first stage takes the riders through Yorkshire Dales where I spent a lot of my youth walking and potholing. This is a  heady mixture of nostalgia and homesickness mixed with some Yorkshire pudding and French joie de vivre (I never expected to see a map with à côté de Buttertubs marked on it).  I had to create a somewhat personal Roamer Topical Topic.

Tour de France, Roamer Activty, Yorkshire



Roamer, Algorithms and the Computing Curriculum

  • Published February 21, 2014
  • By Dave Catlin

What is an algorithm? An algorithm is a set of step-by-step actions that will solve a problem. This definition does not adequately explain what it really is. In the way of a preview of Roamer and the Computing Curriculum Packages, I will try and add some substance to the answer and I will provide a simple Roamer activity that will show you how you can teach the concept in a concrete practical way. (more…)