We’ve had our eyes on the Code Club web site for quite a while and up until it’s something we’ve wanted to do but up until now we’ve just not had chance to get everything in place to do this. It’s great coming in to the studio and doing client work but it’s lovely to give something back to the local community when it possible.
Back in January I finally got my act together and signed up to start a club in Mansfield. After a meeting at the school we arranged our start date and the journey began to try and become some form of Scratch expert (if you’re wondering what Scratch is all about this is the software the first two terms of Code club are based upon and this allows the children to program various games, stories and animations), if you have children or just fancy having a play yourself, you can grab Scratch for free here.
Our first lesson was this Tuesday, I’m not going to lie I think both myself and Andrew hadn’t maybe planned as much as we should have with being busy with project deadlines and the Easter bank holiday rush. We were both excited though at getting stuck in to some code and teaching the kids the first lesson.
We arrived at the school ten minutes prior to the lesson starting as arranged and fired up our MacBook’s and plugged in the Makey Makey ready for our first demonstration. The children came in to the classroom and immediately gave off the excited vibes we were hoping for asking questions and enjoying designing their name badges.
A potato controller?
The first thing we did was to question the children if they thought we could involve a potato and a Cinnamon whirl to be the controller to a small game we had created! We then let the children press the potato and bun to controll certain movements from the character on screen, slightly random but they loved it!
Let the cat see the mouse
The first lesson we went through involved the children coding a small game where a cat called Felix (this soon changed to various names) chased after a mouse called Herbert, when Felix managed to catch the mouse he turned into a ghost and then mouse could be controlled used the mouse. The children loved this whole process though and seeing the game come to life, changing the characters, the names and the background of the stage the whole game sat upon.
The most pleasing thing was all the children asking if they could take their worksheets home to carry on coding in their own time, and to pick up more of what Scratch could do. We can’t wait for next week!