Do you like coding? Programming? Electronics? Empirical methods? Do you want to use your IT or electronics skills for research? Then this trip is for you! In the heart of Provence and fields of lavender and sheep, come join a computer- and electronics-development camp to support the OSI’s research programs.
Computer-science camps Science Camps Our science camps are vacation camps where your children will discover a scientific domain which speaks to them: astronomy, archaeology, marine ecology... At the same time the will be able to do various outdoor activities: archery, swimming, hiking.... are back! This camp is planned for 2018. Modifications may occur.
Come enjoy the welcoming atmosphere of the Crupies Holiday Center, and help develop sensors and real-time applications for the OSI’s research programs.
Several OSI research programs need electronics and information technology. These materials (like sensors or drone parts) need software to properly collect digital field data. There are many tools with varying degrees of complexity needed for research. They could eventually be broken down into several modules so that each module can be coded and tested independently. In pairs, you’ll work on one part of a module—an independent part of these materials. Depending on our needs and your abilities, you’ll design, build, and program piloting software. You’ll then test the module that contains your code in a real-life situation.
From informatics to electronics, technology to ecology, software to nature, come support research programs on sustainable development in France and elsewhere!
The research project
IT is at the center of many scientific studies. Developing software applications is essential to efficiently using the computerized scientific material within the OSI’s programs.
Because they use sensors or drones, some of the OSI’s participative research programs started needing software so they could interface with the machines. Especially our Astyanax(tion) program.
Our field expeditions have a real need for mobile applications that work in real time to collect all kinds of data: photos, videos, sensor data, visual observations, etc. These programs will be used not only by the OSI, but other organizations such as the CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique).
The list of topics will grow based on the needs of Astyanax(tion) and other OSI programs. Here are the axes that will be developed first:
Creating sensors (temperature, pressure, hygrometry, etc.)
Creating interfaces to send commands to sensors from a mini-computer (like Raspberry Pi)
Creating interfaces for sensors or other drone modules (such as temperature sensors)
Telephone applications to collect data stored in computers
Automatic analysis of drone data
Each topic will be subdivided into modules for small, independent programs, which youths can work on in pairs. These programs will be tested in real time so they can be operational in the field.
Concepts Learned during the Camp
Algorithmics – Programming – Development – Version management – Electronics – Mechanics – Computer safety – Good coding practices
Computers – Raspberry Pi – Orange Pi – Sensors – Probes – Arduino
The Musiflore Holiday Center is in Drôme provençale, between the small town of Dieulefit and the village of Bourdeaux. This part of Drôme is famous because it’s a part of the biovalley districts, whose objective is to develop and manage a piece of rural European land that can serve as a model for sustainable development (http://www.biovallee.fr). It’s a dynamic, preserved area where the risks of pesticide contamination are lower, and the waterways are, perhaps, cleaner. And speaking of waterways, the Drôme River is also known for its impromptu, festive swimming sessions! Near the center, we can reach a beautiful spot where we can swim in the Roubion, one of the Drôme’s tributaries.
The agricultural, cultural, and artistic atmosphere of this part of France make it a choice destination. We can walk to the nearby family-friendly farms, especially those that produce the famous goats-milk Picodon cheese. The small town of Dieulefit is about twenty minutes from the center of Musiflore. Every week, it holds a large market in its old town center, where artists and artisans meet local producers. If you head in the other direction, you’ll find Bourdeaux, a small town that features an old ruined castle and a medieval center that holds a big middle-ages-themed party once every summer, which is topped off with a fireworks display. The region is also home to the Saint Jean de Crupies chapel, a remarkable archaeological site classified as a historic monument—one that still holds many secrets.
All these activities, which take place depending on what period of the summer it is and participants’ interest, bring a cultural note to our scientific activities, and give us an expanded approach to the area.
- Vue aérienne de la forêt de Saou, et de cette formation géologique particulière : le synclinal perché.
Don’t forget the wildlife and plants in this region! Griffon vultures fly over the center. You can also find many species of orchids, and it isn’t rare to come across a deer or protected insects.
You can see the region’s amazing landscapes during hikes. For example, just behind the center, five hundred meters higher in altitude (about a three-hour hike if you take your time), the view is spectacular!
A bit farther, several cable-lengths by bicycle this time, just behind the small village of Saou is the forest of the same name, nested within an inverted syncline (a very singular geological formation). In short, the sights are amazing.
Our activities in Drôme are thus part of an ecological approach, that is, a whole in which the sciences and hands-on activities, culture and nature are linked to daily life to make participants and our team grow!
Day to day proceedings
After the presentation about the research projects you’ll be contributing to, you’ll be split up to work in pairs or independently (depending on your preferences and needs) in areas suitable to your level and interests. There are four main areas:
Testing sensors using Arduino technology (simplified electronics workbench)
Creating programs to make them work
Building the autonomous and definitive sensor - Developing and applying new ideas to improve the sensors
Thus you can progress according to your level, thanks to a project and individualized supervision that depend on your skills, preferences, and needs.
Since the sensors we’ll be developing will be used in the field during scientific expeditions, many field-testing phases will occur during development. These phases will take place in the Musiflore Center or in nearby areas, meaning we might go hiking or camping. Performing these tests will expose bugs and malfunctions, as well as allow you to come up with possible improvements once we return to the center.
After a one- or two-week trip, you’ll have completed a module you can see working out in the field and that, once finished, will be sent on expeditions in all four corners of the world!
Julie Rode is one of the Astyanax(tion) research program’s coordinators. A devoted pantherist, her background in fundamental physics led her to further her knowledge of programming and data analysis. She’s now focusing on ecology as well as studying and modeling ecosystems.
Stéphane Rode is one of the Astyanax(tion) research program’s coordinators. Another devoted pantherist, he loves adventure, nature, and research. He has participated in several expeditions in different parts of the world, and organizes some himself so he can share his passions. A computer engineer, he’s a partner in a small computer-system development firm.
The Musiflore Holiday Center is in the heart of nature, with about forty-eight hectares of land divided between forests and plains. Nearby farmers are happy to have us, as long as we respect their work (for example, by not going in fields right before the harvest) and warn them ahead of time. We’ll be in an immense land of discovery and adventures, where our only limit will be the length of our strides.
The center itself was recently renovated and features luminous, comfortable rooms with three to six beds, as well as many activity rooms, both big and small. We can often have our meals outside in the shade, which is quite pleasant. The holiday center also includes an auditorium equipped with all the things we need to put on a variety of shows. Farther away, in what was once an old farm (now renovated), a bread oven is still operational. We often make bread and even pizzas!
To fulfill our objectives about our ecological impact on the center, we focused our approach on nutrition. The location is ideal, since it contains many local producers and environmentally friendly farmers (the center is within a group of district associations, called a biovalley, which is dedicated to sustainable agriculture). Participants eat the bread they bake (two to three times a week at the moment) and they make their own snacks from scratch. Menus are light on meat, and are designed to use fresh products while providing everything you need to fuel up. This is thanks to a close collaboration with the entire Musiflore Center team.
The Musiflore Center is also dedicated to sustainability (wood-burning furnace, many awareness-raising posters, consciousness of energy consumption, healthy eating, etc.).
We also try to reduce the distance we travel and our printing budget, buy more goods made with recycled materials, etc.
In and around the center, we have everything we need for our activities: open spaces for outdoor games or flying drones, vast forests to explore and study, orchid-filled prairies, impressive large trees, rivers to study or swim in, etc.
That’s why the Musiflore Center is the perfect place to have a blast outside or inside!
At this center, we can spend our days immersed in nature; we can also spend time in several of the activity rooms. We’ll also use a large hall, where we’ll organize parties and every Saturday afternoon, see the children’s presentations.
And all this in the sunshine!
In the heart of forty-nine hectares of protected prairies and forests:
Young people will stay in lovely rooms for two to six people in the Musiflore Center in Crupies, which has been in the heart of the Provence Prealps since 1966.
Entirely renovated, this building that introduces people to musical activities, artistic expression, and discovering nature is especially suited to our NGO’s scientific and cultural activities.
Parents can book a hotel in the region, whether for the day before their arrival, or to come and see their children’s presentations on Saturday afternoon (the day before the camp ends, on Sunday). Parents can also stay in the region during the whole trip.
Other than the many hotels and inns around the region, the Musiflore Holiday Center, where the trips take place, is available to you for the night of Saturday until Sunday.
We will be meeting up in Lyon and Valence with participants from all over to make the trip to the center together. If you’ll be traveling to the center yourself, other routes can be used depending on your departure point or where your final destination is located (if you’re dropping off your children while taking a longer trip).
To join us on this trip, you can:
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