Asteroids!

It’s been another fun day training a young team of coders in the art of making the classic game of Asteroids. I loved seeing all the different ideas for their games, especially the war, food and animal themed versions. Please keep working on your great games over the Easter holidays and if you get stuck, please just drop me a line.

Happy Hens

After learning that one of our young pupils recently bought some chickens for her garden, we set about designing a web page to advertise the eggs she was going to sell. The nice thing about Scratch 3 is that you can embed your projects really easily and this is exactly what we did here.

By designing an interactive Scratch project to introduce everyone to her new pets, Elsie was able to embed it into her website. You can see the finished result here.

Elsie's Happy Hens

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.

Online Teaching Resources

First Coding is very happy to reveal that after a summer of hard work our teaching resources are now online and available. Our resource packs are a subscription based online resource for primary and secondary school teachers as well as parents to aid in the teaching of computing within schools and the home. Not only does it provide teachers with classroom handouts, working project examples and PowerPoint presentations but subscribers have access to a monthly podcast of ideas for setting up coding clubs as well as a support forum and video seminars to help deliver great lessons.

First Coding Salisbury - Online Teaching Resources

Coding Competition Winners

The Scratch coding competition that was run over the summer holidays has now finished and I have had great fun judging the entries. After failing to find suitable competition to encourage my students over the holidays, I decided to set one up myself and the response has been great. It’s allowed me to speak with teachers, educators and parents all over the world and it’s also been great fun playing all the fantastic entries the First Coding received.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to build a game and enter it. It was really difficult to choose a winner but if you didn’t win this time around, maybe enter another one the next time we hold a similar competition.

This Summer’s Coding Competition

A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to enter their games they made into our summer competition. We’ll be going through them all shortly and we’ll announce the winners at the end of the week. I can already tell that this is going to be a tough job, the standard has been excellent. Well done to everyone who entered and thank you once again for supporting First Coding’s creative summer challenge.

A Musical Challenge

I set a challenge recently to see if pupils could make a simple note sequencer whereby you load notes into a loop and the Scratch programme  cycles through the sequence, playing them one by one.

This is one of my favourite attempts. The variables at the top allow you to change the notes in the five note sequence. You can also amend the tempo up and down too. Really nice job.

The Scratch Chatbots

I want to share one of the projects my group are working on at the minute. The task was to build a convincing chatbot in Scratch, homing in on particular keywords to give the impression that it understands the statements given to it.  I’ve posted this in a couple of Scratch teaching forums and the response has been great. I can’t wait to share the comments with my pupils.

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