Five ways to inspire your club members about code!

Whether your Code Club is just launching or has been running for a while, here are five ways for you to get your Code Club members excited about coding

A young girl is sat in a classroom working at laptop. A female volunteer is looking at her laptop screen. Both are smiling!
A young Code Club member showing her code to a volunteer.

1. Make Scratch Cat say hi! 

Just starting out with new Code Club members? Christina from Code Club USA encourages you to begin with the basics:  

“We often forget that the simplest things can inspire folks — start with the basics! Show your Code Club members how to make Scratch Cat say hi, and then have them change what the cat is saying and encourage them to try and make the cat do a dance.”

– Christina Foust, Club Program Manager, Code Club USA

2. Be ready, inspiration is contagious!

Make sure you are the first one to be inspired: join us at a FREE online webinar and make sure you’re #CodeClubReady! Talk to our team from across the world, ask your questions, and find out what support we’ve got for you. 

An illustration with too robots, the Code Club logo and words, we are #CodeClubReady

3. Send your code to space

How cool would it be to have your own code run aboard the International Space Station? Your Code Club members can do just that with the European Astro Pi Challenge!  

The Astro Pi Challenge has launched with two missions.

  • Mission Zero: With the help of a step-by-step guide, your Code Club members write a very simple Python program that will run on the International Space Station and show a message for the astronauts there! This mission is a great introduction to Python for learners who want to move on from Scratch. 
  • Mission Space Lab: participants design and write a program for a real scientific experiment that has the chance to run aboard the International Space Station. This mission has four phases and runs over eight months. 
An illustrated image with the Astro Pi logo, two astronauts and the launch date details.

4. Encourage a show-and-tell 

Hold a show-and-tell session to celebrate you club members’ achievements! You can even invite your club members’ friends and family and teach them about coding by having the club members showcase what they’ve been creating and learning. If your Code Club is registered on our website, download certificates from your dashboard to hand out to your members at the end of the show-and-tell to make it really special. 

“A show-and-tell is a great place for your club members to share what they’ve learned and also talk about anything they found challenging. It leads to great discussions and encourages the other children to ask further questions.”

– Rohima Cooke, Code Club Regional Coordinator, South East 

An older ladies hands working on a laptop, drawing a person on the laptop screen.
A family member taking part in a show-and-tell session

5. Build your own game

Who doesn’t love to play games at home? Inspire your learners to create and code their own games. With our free step-by-step projects for Scratch, Python, and Blender, children can easily learn how to make games. You never know, you may have the next Tim Sweeney, game developer of Fortnite, in your group!

How do you get your Code Club members excited about coding? Share your ideas with us on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #MyCodeClub.

Welcome to the first-ever Code Club book!

Team Code Club are beyond excited to tell you that the first-ever Code Club book is now available! You can get it as a free download, or you can buy a physical copy now.

The Code Club Book of Scratch is aimed at kids aged 9–13 who want to start learning to code using Scratch.

Each chapter has instructions for building a cool project with Scratch. If you’re already a fan of our Code Club projects, you’ll find old favourites such as Rock Band, Lost in Space, Ghost Catcher, Chat Bot, and Boat Race. Plus, there’s a brand-new project called On Target for creating a game to learn about coordinates.

Our friendly Code Club robot will guide you through the projects and give you handy tips along the way. There are tick boxes so you can keep track of your progress (we love tick boxes), and a chart you can fill with stickers whenever you finish a chapter (we also love stickers).

We’ve also included lots of challenges to help you change and personalise your code creations, and plenty of ideas to inspire your next projects!

Coding can be tricky: even the world’s best computer scientists get stuck sometimes. So the book also has some secret, hidden hints and tips that you can only see when you put on the special computer science glasses included at the front of the book. Only to be used in emergencies — or maybe when you just want to look really cool!

Get your copy of the Code Club Book of Scratch today: find the free download at here or order your physical copy at jumpto.cc/book

Scratch 3: what does the new version of Scratch mean for your Code Club?

The team behind Scratch have announced that they are releasing a new version of the drag-and-drop programming language in January 2019. Here Martin O’Hanlon, Content and Curriculum Manager at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, tells us what this means for people running Code Clubs, and what new features you can look forward to.

A new version of Scratch is on its way, and it looks fantastic!

Scratch 3 will be the latest version of the free block-based programming language that you’re familiar with, and there is a lot to be excited about. The Scratch team has released the beta version of Scratch 3 at beta.scratch.mit.edu, and it’s definitely worth a try.

New in version 3

The look and feel have been given an upgrade, with perhaps the most notable change being that the stage is now on the right-hand side. Plus, there are new paint and sound editing tools, and larger, easier-to-read code blocks.

user-interface

There are also loads of new sprites, backdrops, and sounds.

sprites

The Scratch team has also released a new extension system that allows you to use web services such as Google Translate in your projects.

Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 14.47.07

There are also new extensions for hardware such as micro:bit and LEGO Mindstorms, making it much easier to use Scratch to program these devices.

Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 14.48.23

And another very exciting update: Scratch 3 will work on tablets, making coding more accessible to those children who don’t have access to a computer.

tablet

Release dates

Scratch 3 will be released on 2 January 2019. It will replace the current Scratch 2 editor on scratch.mit.edu, meaning Scratch 2 will no longer be available online. At this point, you’ll also be able to download and install an offline version of Scratch 3.

If you are using Internet Explorer as your browser, then please note that it will not support Scratch 3. Scratch 3 will however be supported on the newer version of the Microsoft browser, Edge.

On our side, by January 2019 we will also update the Code Club projects so that they work with Scratch 3, although we’ll make sure that Scratch 2–compatible versions remain available so that you have time to upgrade your offline versions.

And we’ll also release brand-new Scratch 3 projects, which will take advantage of the newly introduced features, before January so that your club members can start to have fun with the new version.

Talk to us about Scratch 3

If you have any questions about the upcoming release of Scratch 3,  feel free to reach out to us via hello@codeclub.org.uk or on Twitter and Facebook.

You can also share your experience of using the Scratch 3 beta version with our community on social media — we’d love to see your projects and experiments!