An Athenian 2022–23 Fall After-School Computer Science Class

Short link to this page: Go to the latest lesson.

Title graphic showing micro:bit, sample pets, laser machines and a 3D printer

In this class, for up to ten beginning and experienced programmers and makers in grades five and up, you’ll create your own interactive electronic pet, while developing your programming and making skills, and being exposed to the big ideas of computer science.

You can develop these skills:

  • Computer Programming
  • Electronics
    • using the micro:bit with a motor or sensor
  • Laser Cutting and Engraving
    • using a vector drawing program to design your pet
    • operating the laser machine
  • 3D Printing
    • using a modeling program to design your pet
    • slicing your model
    • operating the 3D printers

When you’re done, you can keep what you make, including the micro:bit microcontroller.

Dave Briccetti is a highly skilled programmer and experienced computer science teacher. Watch him teach on his YouTube channel.

Bring your own laptop computer running macOS, Windows, or Linux, or use one provided by the school.


What is an Interactive Pet?

Tour of the Maker Space

  • Laser cutter/engravers
  • 3D printers

Getting Familiar with the micro:bit


We all got temporary, example pet bodies (a cardboard cat). We reviewed the BJC Interactive Pet instructions.

Getting Familiar with the micro:bit

We reviewed the radio features, and had some successes (and some failures). Perhaps students will make their interactive pets interact with other pets using the radio. We tried a few ideas, like having a shake make a sound and show an icon.

Code for pet reacts to shake


Designing a Pet Body with Adobe Illustrator

Example pets


Computing in the News

Take a ride around San Francisco in a driverless taxi

Designing a Pet Body with Adobe Illustrator


Designing a Pet Body with Adobe Illustrator


More with the micro:bit

In this program, you must feed the pet before it runs out of energy.

Image of code

More Pet Bodies?

3D Printing?


More with the micro:bit

This program gives you a math problem (yes, only one at the moment), then collects your answer via button presses.

Math problem project

Laser Cutting and 3D Printing Pet Bodies


More with micro:bit programming with MakeCode

Picture of random emotion program

Laser Cutting and 3D Printing Pet Bodies


Illustrator, MakeCode, Tinkercad


Finish Pets


Finish Pets and Show Them