It’s been rather busy lately as preparation continues for a few up and coming courses and events. Today saw the last half-term app building workshop where we made a few silly but fun apps for Android phones and tablets. These sessions taught the pupils important concepts of design and I hope it encourages them to continue building on their ideas.
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?
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.
This month’s Facebook theme is space. Be sure to follow our Facebook page to receive regular updates on space related projects that are out of this world!
Parents of pupils were invited this week to take part in the Maze Challenge. The mazes were built by the pupils and made good use of the randomisation techniques we’ve been learning about, meaning that even the game creators didn’t know how their games were going to play out, let alone the parents – who played really well by the way!
This week saw me visit the Bett Show which is an educational tech exhibition held in London’s ExCel Centre. The show is massive to say the least and in order to get the most out of my visit I put together a list of some of the people I wanted to talk to.
At the top of my list was Microsoft and the work they’re doing to with their Minecraft Education Edition. I spent a great deal of time talking to them about ways I can incorporate Minecraft into my coding courses and came away feeling very encouraged along with a couple of really good ideas about how to take things forward.
Integrating coding into Minecraft is easy and fun with the Code Builder which is based around the visual coding platforms such as Scratch that most of us are familiar with. This really simplifies the process of using code to manipulate the virtual world and offers an easy progression process when pupils are ready.
I also spent time with Google and the Raspberry Pi Foundation, again looking at ways to integrate their products into First Coding courses. Both stands were incredibly interesting to spend time with.
Other highlights include meeting a number product designers that I’m a huge fan of and have followed and read about them for years. Oh, and I also got to play and see inside the largest working Gameboy in the world. It’s surprisingly similar to how I made my arcade cabinet and I’m now wondering how one goes about breaking a world record.
Superhero Month continues with a game to test your reflexes. Have you got what it takes to dodge the ninja stars for the longest time possible? I can only manage 10 seconds, can you beat it? https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/199562711/
The First Coding office and classrooms are in The Old Fire Station here in Salisbury and I love how the rooms reflect their past.
I’m laying down a challenge for Superhero Month. Spider-Man finds himself trapped in an invisible maze and needs your help to guide him out. See if you can use the arrow keys to direct him through the maze towards the star. If you touch any of the walls you’ll be made to restart the maze, so you’ll need to make good use of all your spidey senses. You can check out the game here: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/197474723/
Our January newsletter is out and it features our interactive BB8 droid that’s been built using an old broken toy and methods covered in our courses. You can read the latest newsletter here: http://mailchi.mp/ce9a6fba…/first-codings-january-newsletter
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As it’s the start of Superhero Month, we first need to select the mask we’re going to wear on our adventures. This is an easy program to build in Scratch, take a look at the blocks to see how the masks are controlled by a simple variable. How would we go about adding more masks? You can view the Superhero Mask project here.
How can we take it a step further and add a superhero name generator? Clue: Take a look back through last month’s spy projects.
Scratch works best on a laptop or pc.