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Teaching Kids Game Programming

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For quite a few summers, I've taught kids ages 11-14 an Introduction to Programming Course held at the Young Scholars Institute. The kids start not knowing anything and after 5 days they have written …

For quite a few summers, I've taught kids ages 11-14 an Introduction to Programming Course held at the Young Scholars Institute. The kids start not knowing anything and after 5 days they have written full games using Java and Processing.org. I will do an overview of how and what I teach them, their learning process and how to keep them interested, and what I've discovered through the years. There will also be a few demos of the games the kids have written, including Tron Light Cycle, a version of Guitar Hero, and others. (Demos not in the presentation) You can watched the talk at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/2370164

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  • 1. Teaching Kids Game Programming Christopher Cotton Barcamp Nashville 2009
  • 2. Why? why teach kids coding? why this talk?
  • 3. Why teach kids?
      • Wished I had this
      • Kids get so excited, a real challenge
      • Inspire them to learn more
      • The Future!
    Why this talk?
      • I love the teaching
      • Better than building widgets
      • Inspire you
  • 4. But, really why? demo: video
  • 5. What? Intro to Programming
  • 6. What do I teach?
      • Functions, Class
      • Graphics, Screen Layout
      • Math
      • Animation
      • Event driven
      • Game Logic
  • 7. What? but really what do I teach?
  • 8. But, what really?
      • Logical Thinking
      • Experimentation
      • How to Teach Yourself
      • Thoughts into Code
  • 9. Where? YSI
  • 10. Where?
    • Young Scholars Institute (YSI)
      • Part of Franklin Special School District
      • Around for 25+ years
      • 2 Weeks during the Summer
      • 1400 Kids, 120 Teachers
    • http://fssd.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=110&Itemid=207
  • 11. What technology? Language?
    •   processing.org
    • java
  • 12. Why Processing?
      • Full running app in one line
      • FREE FREE FREE
      • Runs on Mac/Linux/Win
      • More complex event driven
  • 13. What do I teach? details details!
  • 14. First day most common question?
  • 15. First Day
      • When can we get on the computers?
      • Car racing!
      • Functions
      • Drawing, colors
      • Overview of processing, reading docs
      • demo:
    • 01 drawing
    Content
  • 16. Second Day most common question?
  • 17. Second Day
      • Where do I put this code?
      • Animation - movement
      • program structure
      • if
      • demo: 
    • 02 first playing with random 03 animations
    Content
  • 18. Third Day most common question?
  • 19. Third Day
      • Why is it doing this?!?!?!
      • Game basics - health, score, collision
      • key moving, mouse control
      • Each kids on different path
      • demo: 
    • 04 block style games (not breakout!)
    Content
  • 20. Fourth Day most common question?
  • 21. Fourth Day
      • How much time do we have left?
      • Building their own game
      • demo: 
    • 05 almost art 06 guitar hero
    Content
  • 22. Fifth Day and Beyond most common question?
  • 23. Fifth Day, Beyond
      • How can I get this?
      • Finishing Their Game, Demos! Demos! Demos!
      • demo: 
    • 07 tron light cycle 08 written over the year
    Content
  • 24. Final Thoughts  
  • 25. Final Thoughts
      • Challenge: not answers
      • Let them learn
      • They built a game!
      • Amazed at just one week
      • So Much Energy, Fun
  • 26. Go teach your passion Q&A
  • 27. Contact me:
    • http://christophercotton.com/

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