It’s not hard to see how important computer coding is, but they can be intimidating if you’ve never tried any coding. It might seem like the sort of thing that only experts can do but with a little help you can get started writing computer codes today! It’s just a different way of writing the ideas you already have so join us in learning the basics of coding using fun items you have around your house.
Make a Meme: Have you ever seen a funny photo with a caption on it that really resonated with you? This is a meme – an image created to express a point of view or generate a reaction out of the viewer. The key to an image becoming a meme as opposed to just an image is the ability of the meme to go viral – that is, to spread digitally across users and platforms. In this activity you will design a meme using pseudocode based on Java, one of many computer languages.
Lego Coding: In this activity, use any LEGO set to tie in concepts of code design and pique student’s interest, creativity, and use computational thinking. Each child has five minutes to create a figure for a video game. This character can be unique to each child. After creating their character, pass out the code block list. If you have children who are visually impaired, shape can be used instead of color. Each block has an action or task associated with it. Give the children 5 minutes to create a program that their character can execute. After creating the program, children can demonstrate to their parent or caregiver. If time, have them exchange codes and try someone else’s program on their character.
Card Sorting – Think Like a Computer: When you ask Google or another search engine a question, you are given items back in a sorted list. Google determines which item is most likely the answer you are looking for, although there are ways those answers can be assigned values based on the user and the search. In this activity you are the search engine and you are limited to serial processing – that is, processing based on one decision at a time. The challenge for this activity is to identify a procedure (or algorithm) to efficiently sort a suit of cards from lowest to highest value.
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