Teaching Coding, Conclusion

The Harpeth Hall Hackers spent two more days learning how to develop Android Apps. We worked on a “PaintPot” app that allowed the user to take a picture and draw over it. The girls did a good job coming up with modifications to the basic app. Here’s a screenshot of it:

PainPot1

And here is the code for it:

PaintPotCode

The next project we did was to create a game based on the old Whack-a-Mole arcade game:

MoleMash

The AppInventor website has step-by-step instructions and tutorials on how to create both of these apps.

We wrapped up the course spending a couple of days designing and printing 3D objects. We used TinkerCAD to do the designing, and a MakerBot Replicator 2 to print the projects. The girls designed a coin tray, a ring, a fish, a turtle, and a monogram desk display:

Printing the Projects

Printing the Projects

Finished Projects

Finished Projects

Some quick thoughts, now that the minicourse is finished:

1. Beginning with Scratch worked really well; I think next year I will go straight from that into AppInventor, since they are so similar.

2. The girls were surprisingly willing to tackle pure coding with Python. Even though that part of the course wasn’t their favorite, they made a sincere effort to learn it.

3. TinkerCAD has a Shape Generator feature that is coded with Javascript. I might want to consider teaching them a little of that language, so they can customize their 3D projects.

4. I intended to introduce the students to Codecademy, but we just didn’t have enough time. Maybe next year!

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