Fly Over the Moon With Microsoft And Python
Written by Nikos Vaggalis   
Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Although targeted at kids, this extension to Microsoft's learning paths teaching Python programming inspired by NASA scientists, is recommended for anyone who wants a novel way into coding and machine learning. 

Last summer Microsoft Learn and NASA partnered up to teach Python programming applied to Space exploration. Now they've added three new modules this time inspired by the Netflix's animation film "Over the Moon".

The protagonist of the film is a young girl, Fei Fei, who wants to build a rocket to fly over the Moon in order to prove that the legendary Moon Goddess exists.Where the film meets science is when Fei Fei faces the same issues that NASA's engineers face when planning missions to Space.

As such the learning path involves calculating the weight of Moon rocks that can be carried by an Apollo Space shuttle, predict when the Goddess is going to cause meteor showers, and finally employ machine learning to enable the Lunar rover to identify Bungee, the rabbit character of the film, while on the moon.

The first two modules involve writing code in Python on VS Code under its Jupyter notebook functionality and by importing the Python data science module Pandas.The third one is leveraging Azure cloud to train a Computer Vision neural network to recognize Bungee in the pictures fed into it.

The modules are written by Dr.G, Dr Sarah Guthals, who is very enthusiastic about it and manages to convey that excitement over to the students as well. Also the material that she has prepared is well written and easy to follow.

Written material aside, Dr G has also prepared videos where she explains all the step necessary, that is setting up the environment, importing libraries and writing code in order to complete the learning path.I would strongly suggest to start with the videos first before tackling the textual material.

On Dr G's channel you'll also find other data science tutorials not just for Over the Moon.So subscribe and follow for new and great material.

Over The Moon is targeted to kids without experience to programming or data science.But since the tutorials use tables (as in tabular) and applying maths functions, I would probably recommended the course to High school pupils.

Finally because the links and related information are scattered around Microsoft's sites and is not easy to locate them, I have collected all of them at the bottom of the article.

Even if you're not planning to become a NASA scientist, I would still recommended taking this path to get acquainted with the basics of coding and machine learning as a future proof skill.

overthemoon

More Information

Over the Moon on Netflix

Over the Moon-Microsoft Main

Channel 9 Learn with Dr. G.

Channel 9-Over the Moon Learn Lessons Overview

Channel 9-Data’s Role in Moon Missions: Fictional and Real

Channel 9-Predicting Meteor Showers Using Python and Visual Studio Code

Channel 9-Use Azure Custom Vision to Repurpose the Lunar Rover

Text-Plan a Moon mission by using Python pandas

Text-Predict meteor showers by using Python and Visual Studio Code

Text-Use AI to recognize objects in images by using the Custom Vision service

Microsoft learn for NASA

 

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 23 December 2020 )