So I took ‘MiniMe’ up to CodeClub today – a free and fun ‘Maker Party’ at the trendy
Lyst Studios in Shoreditch today and a very interesting event it was. The event was geared towards 9-11 year olds, the main purpose to give the  youngsters an intro to the Scratch drag and drop programming language and some hacking activities.

Random Mystery Prize Draw

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So a quick introduction by Michael Mentessi from Code Club;  starting off with coding by ‘Post-It’ notes.

The  session started off with a ‘challenge’ for 3 teams to instruct a human to walk up to an object and pick it up with ‘single line commands’ only. Each instruction had to be written on a ‘post it’ note and handed to the ‘humanoid’ in correct order.

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Needless to say some chaos ensued – but hey this is what coding  and making is about: having fun :p  So skills like breaking down instruction into core comments and teamwork was at the core of this  exercise , very valuable indeed.

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Jon Taylor suffering a severe case of Stack Overflow here . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As mentioned this was a soft intro to Scratch so when the laptops were fired up – the task of using the software to program ‘ a simple Ghost Game went remarkably smooth – drag and drop programming is a geat way to start coding.

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Michael Mentessi running through the first Scratch exercise for our young Coder’s – nice Whiteboard

I thought the analogy between Post-It notes and the Drag & Drop modules in Scratch worked extremely well, even the children with little or no experience with the software saw the connection. Given the timespan given for the workshop we saw great progress here – the kids just loved it.

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Jon Bretman running through a few sequences and timings with Marcus.

The last exercise and ‘grand finale’ was the use of the Makey Makey kit used in conjunction with Scratch , some inanimate objects + a load of bananas and tadaaaa:  ‘ScratchPiano’ !

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Jon Taylor from Lyst-Studio doing a demo of the ‘Scratch-Piano’ to a now very excitable young crowd.

The enthusiasm through the day was infectious, particularly when we got on to the Code and Scratch Piano – great to see technology being used  to genuinely enthuse and educate at the same time.

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Makey Makey kit is in essence an Arduino controller (and very sensitive) with analogue in/out which enables a range of sensors and/or outputs to be connected to the terminals.  Jon showing ‘the ropes’ !

I suppose it was difficult to tell who the biggest kids in todays workshop was – maybe you can help us out there Michael ??

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Michael Mentessi doing a great job troubleshooting the kids projects – spreading a very infectious enthusiasm through the workshop.

Have a look at the YouTube clips below to get a flavour of the day : (choose from playlist menu)

Wohooo – Mystery Prize Draw here:

Mystery Prize Draw for Random comments below  . . .
. . .  totally Random winner chosen very Randomly  😛

 

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