Teaching Coding, Part 2

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m teaching a three-week minicourse on computer coding.

School was closed yesterday (due to the Arctic Polar Vortex delivering freezing rain, snow, and pushing temperatures into the single digits), so today was our first day of class. I have five students, none of whom have any coding experience.

We kicked things off by creating accounts at Scratch, and exploring the various features of the programming environment. We then coded our first program: making a “sprite” (a programming object) say, “Hello World!”:

scratch1

I could tell my students were getting excited about this, because they immediately began customizing this simple program. Realizing you have the power to make your computer do exactly what you want is very addictive!

Next, we designed and coded our own games, which involved maneuvering a sprite past a moving obstacle to reach a goal. Here is the one I created to demonstrate to the class the basic features of the game. Here’s a screenshot:

scratch

Every girl came up with her own unique and entertaining game, with some nice features. Tomorrow we’ll share them with each other.

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