Computer Science: Real World Talks

I was kindly asked to talk at the Wessex Partnership’s Computer Science Real World talk this week.  I talked about how the benefits of personal projects and how taking the bold step of engaging with the maker community can open doors to some nice unexpected surprises.

I loved how all the presentations flowed nicely into one another and all coincidentally highlighted a couple of common themes. I was also very pleased to present in front of such a keen and engaging audience who I hope went home with heads overflowing with encouragement and ideas.

App Building Workshops

Do you fancy learning a new skill over the weekends? We offer weekend Android app building workshops for people of any age and abilities. So if you’ve got a great idea for an app and you’re between 8 and 80 then check out our website for more information: http://www.firstcoding.co.uk/weekend-workshop-app-design/ We can even help you publish your app and get it into the Google Play store too.

First Coding is starting to publish a few Android apps of our own. Why not take a look in the Play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=First+Coding Radio 4 listeners may appreciate our Mornington Crescent game!

First Coding App Building Workshop Salisbury

STEM Talks

It was an absolute pleasure to talk to the sixth formers at Bishop Wordsworth’s yesterday about computing as part of their STEM day. I talked about a number of my projects including hacking a Furby to read my emails and even the students who don’t take computing as a subject were asking how do they start coding fun projects like mine. I really hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.

STEM Talks Bishops Salisbury

Rain Soundboard

Here is a simple soundboard for you to try. Clicking on the numbers one at a time will play sound clips of rain. Pressing button 3 will allow you to add some wind chimes into the mix. My favourite combination of buttons is 2 and 3 together.

https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/207593546/

Soundboards such as this one are fun and easy to put together. Take a look inside at the blocks to see how you would add more sounds and backgrounds to this project.

First Coding - Rain Soundboard

Adventures in Coding

The presentation I give to KS2 children is all about how programming isn’t just restricted to the computer in your home, it can be applied in many other exciting areas.

First Coding - Adventures in Coding Presentation

To illustrate this, I talk to pupils about a small project of mine that allowed me to go on and meet Star Wars actors and other childhood heroes. People who create are always held back by the thought that their ideas aren’t good enough and I’ve seen this a great deal lately. Trust me, if my little idea that started out as a simple Scratch project sent me on a wonderful mini adventure, there is absolutely no reason why yours can’t too.

If you think a primary school would benefit from a visit and a talk from myself then please drop me a line at hello@firstcoding.co.uk.

When Planets Collide

As part of Space Month I wanted to use these colliding planets to illustrate how easy it is to incorporate random behaviour into any game you make. Take a look at the blocks and think about how to make it truly random. Maybe randomise the starting position and trajectory of each planet when the green flag is ticked?

Have a play here: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/193035494

Space Month - When Planets Collide - Scratch

I love randomness in games, factoring it into the games you make means that even you (the game’s creator) doesn’t even know how the game is going to play out.

Scratch works best on a PC or laptop.