Education & Activities

At the Rhode Island Computer Museum (RICM), we provide exciting opportunities for all visitors to learn from our world-class collections of inspiring objects. In many places, vintage technology is almost extinct. Here at RICM, all kinds of "techosaurs" are alive and well, as well as innovative tech tools that give a glimpse of our futures!

There are fun and meaningful opportunities to explore science and technology, make and tinker, learn about microcomputers, dive into the the history of computers, and enjoy the wonders and power of the written word. We can offer experiences and activities for a wide range of groups including schools, clubs, students, families, and adult learners. Come join us!

Current Library Workshop Offerings

Lunar Landing Smart Robots! NEW FOR 2019
This workshop aims to explain and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing. Students will learn basic concepts of robotics and, working in teams, they will learn coding to instruct a simple robot to move in construction challenges.

A big part of the workshop is hands-on practice using a Raspberry PI. The Pi programming environment allows you to do many things with a tiny credit-card-sized computer. The set-up is easy for beginners, challenging for experienced programmers, and fun for everyone! (1½ hour session, age 11 and above)


Karaoke Coding! Rock On!
We'll use portable microphones and free coding software to inspire a new generation of programmers and sound engineers. In this workshop, kids will be introduced to coding concepts and basic sound design using simple programs to record/modify their voices and design a beat box.

The easy-to-use drag-and-drop block codes let kids create interactive animations and sounds. By the end of the session, kids will have learned how to make their very own beat box! (1½ hour session, age 11 and above)


Smart Robots for Tomorrow
This workshop aims to explain the basic concepts of robotics. Working in teams, students will learn coding to instruct a simple robot to move objects in construction challenges. We will provide a hands-on workshop using a Raspberry PI.

The Pi programming environment allows you to do many things with a tiny credit-card-sized computer! You will also learn about programmable electronics for making motors run and a lot more. The set-up is easy for beginners, challenging for experienced programmers, and fun for everyone! (1½ hour session, age 11 and above)

Robots on the Run
This workshop aims to explain basic circuits and instructions on how to build a simple robot. You will learn programmable electronics and receive instructions for making lights blink, motors run, sounds, and a lot more. We’ll take time to learn about interactive software titled “Arduino” and you can create your own sample “Robot."

If you are a gadget geek, science nerd, budding engineer, or just plain electronics-obsessed, come build a robot with us. Bring your broken electronics and we’ll take them apart with you to learn about circuits. View info about the RICM Robot Parts List. (2-hr session, age 10 and above)   Note: This Workshop is part of ongoing traveling exhibits presented by the Rhode Island Computer Museum. The Workshop is partially supported by IEEE-USA K-12STEM Literacy Committee’s outreach program. Contact Dan Berman: Dan@ricomputermuseum.org

Minecraft Modding with Raspberry Pi
Have your Pi and "mod" it too! Learn how to build structures and run simple games in Minecraft with the Raspberry Pi micro-computer and Python programming language! (2-hr session, age 11 and up) Contact Dan Berman: Dan@ricomputermuseum.org

Make Your Own Video Game

Have you ever wondered how the designers of your favorite games work their magic? Come "crack the code" of games in the Rhode Island Computer Museum's "Make Your Own Video Game" workshop. This is a great chance to put down your controllers, dive into learning the interactive "Scratch" software--a user-friendly program developed by MIT to teach software coding--and create your very own video game sample.

Presented by our learning team, the workshop also features an exhibit on “Historic Video Games” that explains the impact of Early Video Games and describes how designers used to make games. Participants will walk away with the skills they need to develop a game and a deeper understanding of the history of technology. Game ON! (2-hr session, age 10 and above)   Note: This Workshop is part of ongoing traveling exhibits presented by the Rhode Island Computer Museum. The Workshop is partially supported by IEEE-USA K-12STEM Literacy Committee’s outreach program. Contact Dan Berman: Dan@ricomputermuseum.org


A Hitchhiker’s (Beginner’s) Guide to the Raspberry Pi Universe

Raspberry Pi

Want to buy a tiny credit-card-sized computer for $35? The Raspberry Pi® is a single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of stimulating the teaching of basic computer science in schools. The Raspberry Pi computer is a miniature ARM (phone) based PC which can do many of the things a desktop PC can do like word-processing, games or playing back High-Definition video.

The design does not include a built-in hard disk or solid-state drive, instead relying on an SD card for booting and long-term storage. The idea behind this tiny and cheap computer for kids came in 2006, as a way to help kids interact with computers like in the old days of the Amigas, BBC Micros, Spectrum ZX, and Commodore 64 machines where people of an earlier generation learned to program. You can even play music by learning Sonic Pi. This workshop about the Raspberry Pi is designed to help educate a new generation of programmers, electronics engineers, and innovators. (2-hr session, age 10 and above) Contact Dan Berman: Dan@ricomputermuseum.org

Sonic Pi Synthesizer
Build a synthesizer and unmask the mystery of making computer music! This Workshop using the Raspberry Pi® is aimed towards educating a new generation of programmers and electronic engineers. Sonic Pi is a programming environment that allows you to make sound with a tiny credit-card-sized computer!

The Raspberry Pi® is a single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of stimulating computer science education in schools. This miniature ARM (phone)-based computer can do many things that a desktop PC can do, such as word processing, playing games, playing back high-definition video, and making MIDI music. (2-hr session, age 10 and above) Contact Dan Berman: Dan@ricomputermuseum.org

Ozobot Game Lab
Come learn how to use the Ozobot robot to create your own game. Kids will learn about Ozobot and create a game out of everyday objects (e.g., cardboard, playdoh, coins, library things). They'll test out their Ozobots program and, at the end, they'll use examples to present their design to the whole group.(Ages: 8-12 years) Contact Dan Berman: Dan@ricomputermuseum.org

Last Update: 10/18/18

Professional Development Opportunities


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RICM Workshops



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Discontinued Workshops

Coding with Minecraft
Minecraft
Learn how to summon lightning bolts with a bow and arrow or build giant rainbows in the Minecraft world with code! Spawn farm animals or monsters instantly and have fun "modding" your world!

This workshop introduces coding concepts by showing students how to build or change ("mod") the game using the Javascript or Python programming language. The set-up is easy for beginners, challenging for experienced gamers, and fun for everyone! (2-hr session, age 8-12 or 10 and above) Contact Thi Sarkis: tsarkis@ricomputermuseum.org

Kodu Game Lab
Make your own 3D game! Come learn how to use this game engine to design and create your own 3D video game. It is free to download on PC computers, and you can make games for the Xbox too. If you like playing Minecraft, you'll love Kodu Game Lab! No previous coding experience necessary. (2-hr session, age 9 and above) Contact Thi Sarkis: tsarkis@ricomputermuseum.org

Makey Makey Inventors
Sparking the imagination of kids who want to be... anything! Computer technology is everywhere and used by many professionals, including inventors, artists, teachers, engineers, musicians, scientists and computer programmers. In this workshop, students will learn how to use everyday items and the "Makey Makey" to complete an electronic circuit in order to control computer programs.

The "Makey Makey" (makeymakey.com), invented by graduate students at MIT, is a small circuit board that connects to a computer and lets you invent your own keyboard with anything that conducts electricity. Use bananas to play a virtual piano or band instruments! Use a pencil and PlayDoh to make a controller for a computer game! Various conductive materials will be provided to get everyone started, but kids are encouraged to bring their own. Things that would conduct electricity well include fruit, green leaves, flowers, soda cans, and metal bottle caps. Parents are encouraged to attend the workshop with their children. They'll have lots of fun too! (1-hr session, age 8 and above) Contact Thi Sarkis: tsarkis@ricomputermuseum.org

Intro to Game Design with SCRATCH
Game on! This workshop is appropriate for kids who are new to SCRATCH or have limited experience with this popular coding program developed by MIT (freely available at scratch.mit.edu). SCRATCH uses drag-and-drop "code blocks" and is a powerful tool that lets kids create interactive stories, animations and games. In this workshop, kids will be introduced to coding concepts through focused discussions of basic game design. By the end of the session, kids will have learned how to make their very own computer game. (1.5-hr session, age group 8-12) Contact Thi Sarkis: tsarkis@ricomputermuseum.org