Valiant Technology Ltd

Feedback Form


David Taylor, Deputy Head of Belmont C.P School, Grantham, spent a years secondment with East Midlands Electricity. He worked in the Business Services Unit, spending a lot of time working with schools in the East Midlands Area. Here he reports on his work.

Since April 1992, I have been developing a package of written materials for schools, essentially focussing on technology and in particular control technology, during my time with "The team you can trust"!

This process has involved, amongst other things, the trialling of the materials during the Autumn term 1992 in a selection of schools in five counties. A number of those schools wanted to try activities which involved the use of programmable machines such as Roamer. However, it soon became obvious that experience with Roamer ranged from nil to several years; that some schools were introducing it as a useful tool for Y8, whereas others used it for activities with Y2 and Y3 children.

It therefore emerged that I was correct in my initial thoughts that activities involving the use of Roamer should be part of a developmental process aimed at addressing the control technology needs of AT 5 of National Curriculum Technology, building upon experiences a little at a time. For this purpose and for those who expressed a specific need, I produced some introductory activities, enabling familiarity with Roamer and its basic functions.

Moving on from this, I introduced activities which would involve cross-curricular elements of Technology, Information Technology, English and Mathematics. One of the most popular of these was a simple development of a "Treasure Island" activity, which was used by age groups as diverse as Y5 and Y8. One Y5 group in particular' spent a lot of time on the work, disguising Roamer beautifully as a pirate for his raid on Island 1 and spending a lot of time in discussion and activity on the music needed for taming the animals on Island 2.

You need;
Large sheets of paper
Tape or glue

First, join together several large sheets of paper, to make a rectangle 1.5 by 2.5 metres (approx).

On this paper draw four islands, of about 30cm in diameter and number these as in the diagram, ready to put in some pictures.

Your Roamer in disguise is in search of treasure. Before it can go to the treasure island, it needs to visit, in any order (although 4, the treasure island must be last), the following:

Island 1: There are pirates who have a treasure chest key. Your disguise is needed to land here and take it.

Island 2: There is a shovel on this island, on which there are wild animals. These can be tamed if they hear music. Play them a tune!

Island 3: You can collect supplies for your journey here. There are no dangers.

Island 1: Treasure Island! Visit this island last of all, landing on the "X".

Program your Roamer to visit all of the islands in one journey, perhaps pausing at each one for a moment before going on.

It may help you to break up the programming into smaller tasks first, trying them out one at a time.

I found Roamer an altogether exciting and flexible machine especially when used as part of a range of control activities including on-screen work and computer control. Its capabilities can be further extended with the introduction of the Roamer control box.

"My thanks especially to Pat Peel and children, Long Whatton CP School, Loughborough."

A variation on this theme has also been used with great success. The four islands are cut out and stuck to the floor. The last island has a grid of 30cm squares drawn in it. These are lettered horizontally and numbered vertically. The clues to where the treasure is are to be found on the first three islands which have to be visited in turn, and activities completed.

Valiant Roamer Activity Sheet

You're a band of pirates and you've captured a map. It shows that there is treasure buried somewhere on Golden Island. The clues to where it is on the island are to be found on three other islands. You have to collect the clues and find the treasure.

Clue 1 is to be found on Wymog Island. Unfortunately it is guarded by the Wymog Tribe who are considered by experts to be the most vicious of all living creatures. However, they love music and will calm down and become almost pleasant to any music maker.

Clue 2 is to be found on Parched Island. The island is deserted, so there are no unfriendly natives to worry about. Unfortunately the clue is at the bottom of a dried a dried up well - it hasn't rained here for at least 100 years. The only way to get to the clue is to get it to rain so that the clue will float to within reach. A really good quick tempo rain dance will get the heavens to open.

Clue 3 is to be found on Rocky Island. The clue is easy to find - it's on the beach. However the route to the island is through a dangerous reef. You need to plot a course through the rocks to arrive safely on the beach. Do not get shipwrecked!

Last lap - Golden Island. This bit is easy. You now know where to land and where the treasure is buried. Blaze a trail to the spot and mark it with an X. Now start digging!

Every band of pirates needs a flag. Using the Roamer drawing facility, you must design and draw a suitable emblem for the Pirates.

Change Roamer into a Pirate or Pirate Ship.

  © 2004. Amethyst Consultancy Ltd.