2015 Highly Commended

Here are the entries that were highly commended in our competition. We were so impressed with their ideas that their code was flown to the ISS on the same SD cards as the winners.

Direction Sense

Team name: Marian Jago
Key Stage: 3
Teacher: Sarah Jago

Marian has created an experiment to investigate how the crew’s sense of orientation changes during a long space mission; specifically, it explores how well the crew can estimate turning 360 degrees whilst free-floating. You close your eyes, hold the Astro Pi against your chest, begin spinning, and press any button to start the experiment. Then when you think you’ve done a complete 360-degree spin, you press any button to stop. As the astronauts have already been through some rigorous tests, nobody should be getting too dizzy !



Team name: Charlie Maclean
Key Stage: 4
Teacher: Sarah Maclean

Labyrinth is based on the puzzle game where you guide a marble around a tabletop maze by tilting the table. In Charlie’s version, the objective of the game is for the player, the blue LED, to reach the green target on the left-hand side of the screen. This is achieved by tilting the Astro Pi, which detects the movement using the gyroscope. The game can be single- or two-player. You might need a particularly steady hand to play this in space.

UK Weather

Team name: Nicole Ashworth
Key Stage: 3
Teacher: Philip Ashworth

Nicole has created a program that displays the average weather for the current day of the year, using a database of historical weather measurements. This is shown on the LED matrix. It also reports the difference between the ISS temperature, measured by the Astro Pi sensors, and the average temperature at Heathrow Airport in the UK for the current day. Now the ISS will know if they’re missing out on any heatwaves.

Astro Sense

Team name: Amaideo Page-John
Key Stage: 2
Teacher: Eleanor Page-John

Amaideo’s entry is called Astro Sense.  He was 9 years old when he entered Astro Pi, making him the youngest person to participate. Remarkably, he chose to enter the Key Stage 3 category and compete with much older students! His entry is a dual-function project which detects sensory input and outputs the readings to the LED matrix. As a second feature, there’s a game called Orange Fall that’s similar to the famous arcade game Space Invaders, where the joystick is used to move the tank at the bottom and any push button is used to fire. Even astronauts need some downtime to blast aliens!