Programming Robotics


Finding North without a Compass

This article from wikihow nicely illustrates how several methods for finding north if you are without a compass (or materials to make one).  It is best to have several tricks up your sleeve as they are often dependent on factors like the sun or stars.  Some of the ideas covered include:

Stick Method

Put a stick into the ground and mark the end of the shadow with a pebble.  Wait 15 min and mark the new end of the shadow.  Stand with one foot on each pebble and the stick behind you.  You’ll now be facing north.


The star Polaris (or North Star) is approximately north and is visible throughout the Northern Hemisphere.  Find Polaris and then draw a mental line straight down to the horizon.

Observe Nature

Moss often (but not always) grows on the north side of trees where it is the most shaded.

World Space Week

The first Make a Difference Day for 2017-18 is World Space Week – October 4-10th. National has released an instant meeting to help you mark this STEM based week.    I do a lot of space activities already with my Guides so many of these ideas I’ve seen before but I’m glad to see them being promoted.  I am quite interested in the Life on a Space Station activity though.

If you want some alternative ideas, check out the Meeting in a Box: Space from Quebec.  I like the active Solar System game.  I think the girls would have a lot of fun with it.

Observing the Eclipse

Just a reminder that on Monday August 21st, 2017 there will be a eclipse of the sun visible throughout much of Canada and the United States.   Eclipse are an amazing and very accessible astronomical phenomenal but it is important to take precautions to protect your vision if you are going to observe a solar eclipse.   You may want to order something like this Eclipse View from RASC now so you are prepared for the summer.  Otherwise you may want to consider making a pin hole camera.