Virtually Anything

I have been so impressed over the last few months at the standard of work coming out of the various clubs and courses I run, I’ve always wanted to give the students further direction with regards to their creativity and coding. So I hit the ground running this year and after a great deal of hard work have produced this 24 page booklet on game design and distribution.

I used to make zines all time years ago and could see the layout of the booklets in my mind easily. It appears I’ve lost that skill these days but I managed to nail it with help from an old zine-making friend. Thank you!

Meeting Microbit

I was fortunate enough to talk with the people at Microbit whilst attending the Bett Show this weekend. They were really surprised at some of the projects that have come out of First Coding’s advanced courses, so well done to all! I came away with stickers for everyone.

This year I really want to push the Microbit to its limit to see what creative projects we can make.

 


 

 

Young Coders’ Course

** NEW FOR 2019 – NOW INCLUDES LEARNING TO CODE WITH MINECRAFT **

First Coding will be running its popular Young Coders’ course once again! Ideal for children aged between 7 and 10 years with an interest in computers and games, pupils will learn how to create colourful and amusing animations and build fun interactive programs, all whilst learning important concepts and gaining confidence in computer programming via the popular game of Minecraft and through the visual language of Scratch.

The cost of the course is £75 and starts on Saturday 2nd February between 2pm-3pm, running for four weeks.

For more information regarding the course, please check out the website: http://www.firstcoding.co.uk/young-coders-course/

Cipher Competition

Calling all budding spies! This half term at Leehurst Swan School we’ll be running the coding club as per usual. However, after towards the end of the sessions pupils will get the chance to enter their project into a competition to win prizes. The theme of the lessons is all based around ciphers, learning how to write programs that will encrypt and decrypt secret messages.

These sessions run for five weeks, starting this Thursday after school. There are still a few places available, so if you know of a pupil who would like to participate in this lessons and competition then drop us a line.

A Challenge for the Tutor

I was recently set a challenge!

First Coding ran a number of coding completions and challenges over the Christmas period, however I never expected to be set a challenge myself! I’ve always claimed that a problem can always be solved with creative coding and so a group of pupils told me to pick a problem that bothers me and code a solution before Christmas. I listed a few problems and the pupils picked the issue of traffic volume in the area for me.

My solution doesn’t solve it as such but highlights how busy our roads have become. It takes a video feed of the traffic and converts the colour and frequency of the cars into musical notes. I’ve been testing it on the roads in my village, click the link to hear the musical samples. http://trafficjam.site11.com/

This could work in other areas too. Imagine using visitor numbers from a shopping centre to generate music for example, I think with a bit of fine tuning this project could prove a really interesting one.

Christmas Competition Winners

Here are a couple of winners from the Christmas Python coding competition I ran this month in one of the schools here in Salisbury. Each pupil had a couple of sessions with me as we covered the basics and got them building a basic personal assistant bot. They were then encouraged to run with the project in their own time which they did in their own brilliant way. With over 60 pupils signing up, judging was a really difficult task. Below are a couple of winners, just hit the play button to run the code and have a play.

A great Choose Your Own Adventure game:

A tricky Complete The Star Wars Quote game:

Covert Scratch Projects into Android Apps

As well as converting Scratch projects into standalone programs (see previous post), did you know that you can also take any Scratch project and turn it into an app for Android? We’ve written an easy to follow guide that walks you through the process of producing standalone executables and Android apps and it’s available via our subscription package.

The video below is of the rotating globe that was built in Scratch and was used to advertise one of the retro gaming workshops earlier this year. This Scratch project was packaged up as an app and installed on various Android devices to demonstrate what could be done.

Young Game Developers

Did you know that you can convert projects built in Scratch into standalone games, without the need to ever run Scratch? The wonderful games that my current pupils have built are all getting copied to CD so that they can be handed out as Christmas presents to their friends and family.

This is a real-eye opener for some as they have now become game developers by releasing their own games! I’m looking forward to seeing some of the packaging artwork that they’re now producing.

First Coding - Scratch to Exe

Happy Birthday First Coding!

First Coding is officially a year old! The last twelve months have seen over 150 places booked with First Coding and I can honestly say it’s been a delight working with you all. Now that First Coding is providing coding clubs to schools in the area, I’m very much looking forward to the year ahead and seeing what fabulous creations come out of 2019! You can read more about this important milestone in the newsletter here.

I really must give huge thank you to all of the parents and carers out there. Your support has been invaluable. From encouraging your children to get involved, to spreading the word about First Coding, I really appreciate all your support!