January 13, 2018

Get started at http://www.coderdojokc.com/today

Welcome to CoderDojoKC! Let’s get you started!

Looking for something to do? Practice your typing skills! Typing.io is a great way to keep your fingers nimble and learn where some of those tricky keys are located.

Are you working on the debugging challenge? Remix it here!

Step One: Wifi

1. Open up your internet connection and connect to “Fiber Public WiFi

2. Can’t connect? See if you can get to the wifi sign-in at http://google.com/fiber

3. Still can’t connect? Raise your hand and a mentor will get you a hotspot to connect to.

4. We recommend using the Google Chrome browser.

Step Two: Start Learning!

If you don’t know which programming language to start learning, we recommend Scratch (if Scratch is not to your speed, check out the typing.io link in the sidebar on the right).

You will need a parent or guardian’s help to create a Scratch login:

  1. Click “Join Scratch” in the upper right-hand corner of the Scratch site.
  2. Create a username that does not include your real name.
  3. Think of a password that you can remember easily. You should have your parent or guardian write this down and save it.
  4. Click “Next” and continue following the directions. You will need a valid email address (yours or your guardian’s) to continue.

Once you have a Scratch login, use the links below to build something awesome.

Step Three: Learn to Code

1. Are you brand new to coding? Start with Codecademy (recommended for 13 years & up) or Scratch (recommended for 12 years & under).  Want to try building your own phone application? Check out App Inventor! Be sure to create an account and write down your username and password so you won’t forget!

2. Do you have a little coding under your belt? Are you ready to learn more? Check out these fun games:

3. Were you working on a project from our last session? Feel free to continue on that, and ask mentors if you need any help!

4. Get started on the new project. We can’t wait to see what you create!

Step Four: Check Out the Projects

Mastery – Feeling masterful? Check out the requirements for our mastery badges. You can earn cool pins!

Today’s concept: Variables

When we talk with each other, we use variables all of the time. In the phrase, “Darsia played Minecraft yesterday; she thinks it is a cool game,” the word “she” is a variable that can mean “Darsia” (in another sentence mean someone completely different) and “it” is a variable that means “Minecraft.” We also talk about things that change as being “variable.” For instance, the temperature this week has been variable, dropping below zero and rising above 50!

In mathematics, we learn that a variable is something unknown that can take a value. In early math, you might see a number sentence like: 2 + □ = 5; we know that □ is 3. Later on, that becomes 2 + X = 5; we know that X = 3 in order for that math sentence to make sense.

In programming, variables can be something unknown that takes a value, as in the case of a variable that takes the value of something that the user inputs. A variable can also take on the value of something more complicated to make referencing that complicated thing more easy. This can be like setting a variable dojo to Kansas City instead of having to type out that word each time you want to use it.

Perhaps variables can be illustrated with a joke:

A man is sent to prison for the first time. At night, the lights in the cell block are turned off, and his cellmate goes over to the bars and yells, “Number twelve!” The whole cell block breaks out laughing. A few minutes later, somebody else in the cell block yells, “Number four!” Again, the whole cell block breaks out laughing.

The new guy asks his cellmate what’s going on. “Well,” says the older prisoner, “we’ve all been in this here prison for so long, we all know the same jokes. So we just yell out the number instead of saying the whole joke.”

So the new guy walks up to the bars and yells, “Number six!” There was dead silence in the cell block. He asks the older prisoner, “What’s wrong? Why didn’t I get any laughs?”

“Well,” said the older man, “sometimes it’s not the joke, but how you tell it.”

A variable can also be changed; think about having a variable called “high score.”

In Scratch, you can create a data variable and give it a value. The variable can be used by either the sprite or all sprites. You can show your variable and its value on the stage if you want to; this would be useful for a game score.
Additional information about Scratch variables

In JavaScript, you can create a variable and give it a value.
var myCity = "Kansas City";
Additional information about JS variables

Examples in Scratch

Step Five: Show Off!

Did you create something awesome based off of today’s theme/concept? Come present it on stage! Presentations will start at 11:30 am. Let a mentor know you want to show off your work. Scratch projects that will be presented will be added the CoderDojoKC Studio by a mentor.

**Presentations may not contain any politics, violence, gore, or bad words. (And we’re counting “sucks” as a bad word!)