Pac-man continues to entertain

Pac-man, the arcade game created in the 80’s was our chosen project for term 6. The children created their own versions of the game by drawing their own images. It was one of the longest projects we have ever done at coding club and to my surprise, the children never showed any signs of boredom with the game. Every week, they came to coding club looking forward to add to their projects.

The Pac-man game gave the children the opportunity to practice everything they had learned throughout the year by adding more layers of complexity to the game. Some of the children chose to create their sprites in Pixil art, a program that they learned how to use at coding club.

It gave me great pleasure to see the results and I know for sure the children thoroughly enjoyed it too. Here is a small selection of the projects created.

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Chatbot in Python

Year 5’s and Year 6’s learned to make a chatbot with the Python programming language. The chatbot consisted of a ‘bot’ assistant that interacts with you by asking questions and giving answers based on the responses given. This is a challenging task that children can modify according to their interest. Here are some examples of chatbots talking about dinosaurs, food and scary elevators!

We use Trinket, our favourite Python online editor.

Making Apps with JavaScript

JavaScript is the programming language that powers the web. It adds interactivity to a website and applications are written in JavaScript everyday – ranging from a single page application, games, apps, programming drones to the Internet of things.

At Coding Club, the children have been learning how to program apps with JavaScript using Bitsbox. Bitsbox is a paid online learning application, but anyone can sign up and start using the free tutorials or the hour of code. They also offer a monthly subscription with lost of goodies.

The Bitsbox interface consists of a phone simulator and a text editor, so the results can be seen straight away. A QR code can also be scanned so the apps can run on a phone or tablet. This is a great way to introduce text-based programming to young people.

Most children in Year 4 and above who are confident with Scratch should be able to write apps with JavaScript and understand the concepts. Bixtbox has definitely been a big hit with the kids.

Making apps with JavaScript

#SummerOfCode 2016

So #SummerOfCode 2016 got off to a very good start – a room full of busy and enthusiastic young people ready to create their own Apps.

They had all travelled to the independent Curzon Cinema in Clevedon with their laptops and tablets, expectant of a morning packed with different coding activities.

I was pleased to see how quickly the boys and girls learnt some basic JavaScript coding – then interact with their own apps on their tablets and phones. They also unilaterally chose to ‘work’ right through their ‘Haribo-breaks; maybe I should approach Haribo to sponsor the third #SummerOfCode next year?!

The event would have not been possible without the passionate and dedicated staff at the Curzon Clevedon Cinema who helped me put together the event – and our kind sponsor, Leslie Dark & Co.