There were so many great projects that came out of the Christmas Coding workshop last week. The children first started by building animated Christmas scenes before adding interactive crackers. Clicking on a cracker reveals a joke selected at random from a list of terrible jokes. You can sample some of the crackers and their jokes here: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/354037013/.
We will be running our popular Young Coders’ course again on Saturdays for 7 – 10 year olds. Commencing on 11th January 2020, 2.30pm – 3.30pm, it runs for four weeks and costs £80 per child.
The theme of this course is Ciphers and Secret Messages and over the four weeks we’ll not only be covering important programming concepts that can be applied to applications and game design but we’ll also be working up to a final project where the class will learn how to make their own cipher machines, encoding and decoding messages.
We had a great turnout for our Minecraft Salisbury event to mark two years of the business. Although there is still a great deal to build on the map, here is a quick tour of what was achieved. First Coding would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who turned up to build their own little part of the city.
There will be more Minecraft Salisbury events in the New Year, however if your school would like to take part in this project then please get in touch. We have plans to take this event tour.
The project launch to bring parents and children together in an attempt to build the whole of Salisbury virtually in Minecraft is fast approaching and seeing as though so many great things have happened recently, I thought it would be good to summarise updates.
After the announcement online, the event was fully booked up in a matter of hours. I have never known anything I’ve organised to gather pace so quickly the way this event did. As a result, the posters I had made to help boost interest weren’t required. Due to its popularity, the event will be run again next year, so the posters won’t go to waste. Roll on Sunday 8th December!
The lovely people at Salisbury Cathedral have kindly sent through the plans for their building. Realising that the cathedral is the starting point of the project, it is hugely important that it is built it in the correct proportions and to scale. These plans will help enormously, thank you!
I’ve even connected with Microsoft and, well, came away with a badge and a whole bag of excitement. More to follow.
Television and Radio
The Salisbury Minecraft project was featured on TV and also radio. Out of the two, I think live radio was the scariest. You can listen to the breakfast broadcast here.
Another series of courses come to an end at Bishop Wordsworth School today. The introductory coding courses walked the pupils through developing their own games in Scratch before making the leap to Python. For their final project, they had to code in Python their very own fruit machine, calculating odds and probability to work out their winnings. I’ve been really impressed by the different ways in which the task was tackled.
They also leave with a number of guides to help them develop their skills further whilst also offering tips on how to publicise their creations.
We’ve been putting together an ecology simulator in Scratch where the user has to decide when to introduce predators in order to bring balance to the ecosystem. Both the insects and predators follow rules:
The game will include habitat that insects will feed off
Feeding insects gain energy
Increased insect feeding will result in a shrinking landscape
Reduced insect feeding will result in an expanding landscape
Insects can only reproduce if they have sufficient energy
Insects die if energy levels reach zero
One predator at a time will be introduced by the player
A maximum of three introductions at a time
Predators feed off insects to gain energy
Predators can only reproduce if they have sufficient energy