Keep coding over the summer

Is your Code Club taking a break over the summer? Are you looking for some extra coding activities for your children to participate in while they are not at school? Read on to find out how you and the young people of Code Club can keep coding throughout the summer months.

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Coding events

There are many cool digital making events over the next few months for young coders to attend virtually or in person!

Moonhack

On 20 July, tens of thousands of young people from Sydney to Seoul will be attempting to break the world record for the most children coding within 24 hours.

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Organised by Code Club Australia, the annual Moonhack event is open to anyone between the ages of 8 and 18. To participate, you need to complete a space-themed project and submit your finished work on the day of the event. Projects are available at www.moonhack.com/projects, so you can start coding now!

You can also host your own Moonhackathon — the Moonhack team has created an awesome host pack with all the resources you need.

To register for this intergalactic challenge, head over to www.moonhack.com.

Raspberry Fields

Raspberry Fields is a brand-new digital making festival organised by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The event will take place in Cambridge on 30 June and 1 July and is a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to get creative with technology.

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There will be talks, performances, giveaways, hands-on making activities, face-painting, robots, great food, and everything else a young digital maker could dream of. For a sneak peek at the exciting lineup of live acts, check out this blog post.

Tickets are only £5 — grab yours today at www.junction.co.uk/raspberry-fields.

Get coding at home

If you can’t join one of these events, we have a world of opportunities for you to keep coding at home! All the Code Club projects are free to access online, and they can all be completed using free online apps, so all you need is a computer with internet access.

Stretching Scratch

Become a master of Scratch over the summer by completing these projects:

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Try something new with Blender

Earlier this year, we introduced a set of Code Club projects for Blender, a free software program that allows you to design 3D models and animate them. Blender is a great tool for anyone interested in becoming a digital artist, architect, or designer.

Get creative by trying out these projects:

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Still looking for more?

Finished all of our Scratch projects and looking for a new challenge? Then you can dive into our Python or HTML/CSS modules. Or if you have access to a Raspberry Pi or micro:bit, you can try your hand at physical computing. The possibilities are endless!

What young people can achieve with code

Every week at Code Club, thousands of children as young as eight are learning how to code. Many of these children are using their newfound knowledge to make things that are smart, creative, funny, and also useful in their wider community.

Coolest Projects is an annual showcase of the work that young digital makers are producing in Code Clubs, CoderDojos, and Raspberry Jams across the world. We spoke to some of the young participants who were at the UK event last month to find out more about what they’ve been coding.

Liya and Gabriella, both 11

Liya and Gabriella won the Scratch category at Coolest Projects with their game Toad Ahoy! The girls used the skills they learned at their Code Club in Somerset to code a complex multi-level game in Scratch.

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Can you describe your project?
Liya: Our game is called Toad Ahoy, and in the game you have the Mario character Toad and you have to guide him to Toadette. To do this, you go through an obstacle course, but there is a possibility that you could fall into the lava and die, so you have to be careful.
Gabriella: In our project, you run around the world collecting stars and moving towards the portals. However, you have to be quick! You are being timed, and the fastest people will reach the leaderboard. The amount of stars that you collect is doubled, then taken away from your time, so the more stars you collect the better — if you can be fast at the same time.

What was your favourite thing about attending Coolest Projects?
Liya: My favourite thing about Coolest Projects was that you could share all these amazing things that these kids have done, and you also learn more about different projects, so you could be encouraged to make another project in that style.
Gabriella: Our experience at Coolest Projects was great, and I particularly enjoyed looking at other people’s projects.

Haseeb, 8

Haseeb caught our attention at Coolest Projects due to how confidently he presented his coding project to the judges. He learns how to code in a variety of programming languages, including Scratch, HTML, and Python, at his Code Club in a library in London.

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Can you describe your project?
Haseeb: My project name is Robotic Pet. The aim of it is to entertain. It has two functionalities:

  1. Follow using Pixy Cam: it first creates a signature of the object shown and keeps it inside its memory. Then, through a feedback loop, it adjusts the position of the robot.
  2. Paint with music using colour sensor: when different coloured cards are placed, my Robotic Pet can detect the colour and play a different sequence of tunes. It is programmed using an ‘if and else’ loop.

 

 

What was your favourite thing about attending Coolest Projects?
Haseeb: My favourite thing was:

  1. I made lots of new friends
  2. Getting to try out lots of cool programmes and gadgets
  3. The swag bag with cool stickers and especially the Blinkt, which I used to make a mini fireplace

Zaahra, 9

Zaahra had one of the most beautiful projects at Coolest Projects and even designed her own T-shirts inspired by her Scratch game! She masters coding every week at a Code Club in East London.

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Can you describe your project?
Zaahra: My project is a game that I developed on Scratch. It is called Mystical Madness. The aim of the game is to move the unicorn to catch the rainbow cupcakes — the more you catch, the more points you get. Be careful of the grey cupcakes, or you will be out!

What was your favourite thing about attending Coolest Projects?
Zaahra: My favourite part of Coolest Projects was to meet lots of other children and seeing all the different projects they have developed. I felt inspired, and I want to do even better next time!

Inspire young people to learn to code

These impressive projects prove that you are never too young (or too old!) to learn how to code. Improve your own tech skills while inspiring the next generation by becoming a Code Club volunteer at www.codeclub.org.uk/start-a-club.

Do you know someone who would make an amazing Code Club volunteer? Share this post with all the teachers, parents, developers, and other awesome people you know!

London ‘Back to school’ meetup

Mickey Day, Regional Coordinator for London and the East of England, takes us through the success of his first Code Club meetup, which included talks by people from Teaboy Games, Barefoot, and Samsung Online.

The 7 September marked my first Code Club meetup, hosted by the software company Pivotal in London. Our meetups are an opportunity for Code Club volunteers to come together to share their experiences, and for newcomers to learn about the importance of digital making, about what a Code Club entails, and about how to get involved.

Pivotal kindly allowed us to use their amazing space on Old Street for the evening. The event gave our London community the chance to celebrate Code Club’s expansion into secondary schools, and allowed potential volunteers to find out more about what we do. We welcomed almost 100 guests, who came flooding through the doors and past our table of goodies.

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Among the attendees were large numbers of teachers and potential volunteers, and everyone was keen to learn and hear the evening’s talks. The event started with attendees enjoying a drink while registering their venues with Code Club.

When everyone had taken a seat, I opened the session with a short talk on the importance of receiving a digital education as a child, and how Code Club supports this cause.

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We continued with lightning talks from Frazer Merrick, creative director of Teaboy Games, who covered all things Scratch; Simon Vaughan-Long, volunteer for Barefoot, who impressed upon us how essential teachers’ digital knowledge is; and uve, digital advocate for Samsung Online, who demonstrated just how immersive VR can be. The session lasted an hour, then the floor was opened to questions from the audience for the panel of speakers.

After the Q&A, guests enjoyed a rather large amount of pizza before getting their hands on some activities. Code Club volunteer Marc Grossman demonstrated some Makey Makey kits capabilities: he used play dough to control Scratch sprites. Then computing student Hugh Wells flexed his musical muscles demo’ing Code Club’s new Sonic Pi projects.

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There was a lot of activity on Twitter using the hashtag #CodeClubEvent, with guests posting photos, reviews, questions, and slides of the night. Because so many community members used social media to share photos of and thoughts about the event, the hashtag was trending in London for two and a half hours. That’s pretty awesome!

The event concluded with networking and setting up new clubs in preparation for inspiring new young digital makers!

“Absolutely fantastic event – what you arranged and Pivotal hosted was truly inspiring. There was a great buzz around the place!”

— Simon Vaughan-Long, Barefoot volunteer

For more Code Club events, head over to the Code Club website, and follow @CodeClub on Twitter!

Our next free London meetup will be on 12 October 2017 from 5:30-9:00 pm at Monzo HQ on Old Street, and it will include lightning talks from Monzo, Disney, ustwo, and pi-top. Join us there to find out more about Code Club — you can get your free ticket here.