This week the two Yr6 pupils looked at their programming so far. They wanted to check that everything worked properly, and so typed in a range of cities around the world to see whether the sun changed size depending on temperature, how much the cloud moved depending on the wind speed and the transparency of the cloud depending on cloud cover.
They noticed after trying several cities that it seemed to work fine, but that they couldn't get the rainfall animation to appear. No matter which city they tried, there seemed to be no rain in world! We even looked on the lightningmaps website to try and locate a city near to a large thunderstorm - but failed!
So, from this we discussed whether it would be a good idea to leave the programming running with the need to type in a city to get the weather - what could a user do if they had a keyboard and mouse available*. They realised that these peripherals would potentially allow users to stop the program and fiddle, and so they had to think of an alternative solution to display weather - at a range of cities - without the user needed to type anything.
They discussed the need for a list (a feature in the variables area of scratch), and perhaps for a single button that a user could press to change the city, but also looked at the number of API calls that could be made and what would happen if this was exceeded.
And so, they began to rewrite the program - this time using a list of preprogrammed cities, and only having the space button working to change the city. They will be continuing with this next week. If all works well, they can then move on to adding a physical button instead of using the space key.
*This led to an interesting question about how the program could be altered if needed, and a demonstration of the built in RealVNC feature that allows my staff iPad to remotely access and alter the Raspberry Pi that is running the weather reporter.