Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Teaching Kids Game Programming


Published on

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 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

  • Talk can be watched at
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here

Teaching Kids Game Programming

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