Kids Coding Challenge

The Kids Coding Challenge will give you the opportunity to learn how to code and think like a coder!  Get started on your path to creating games and robots all on your own.

Beginner

Fundamentals

Unplugged Activity

Turn your friend into a robot and program them dance! 

Write these commands on a piece of paper and cut them out:

JUMP / STEP RIGHT / STEP LEFT / STEP BACKWARD / STEP FORWARD / SHAKE ALL OVER / HIGH KICK / SPIN / JUMP SPIN / PUNCH RIGHT / PUNCH LEFT

Arrange them in order to create an algorithm. Have your friend follow the algorithm to dance. Swap places and let them program you to dance.

Activity Complete? Move on to Plugged.
Plugged Activity

Make Moana’s Warriors Dance.

Click the red arrow to begin. The challenge begins on Lesson 19.

Drag the blocks into the workspace. Hit run when complete. If you are happy with your dance accept your certificate of completion

Activity Completed

Robots

Unplugged Activity

Draw a robot on a piece of paper. Describe what each part of your robot does.

Activity Complete? Move on to Plugged.
Plugged Activity

Code with Lightbot.                                                    

Make sure you have Flash Player.

Scroll down to the red “Demo Puzzles” button. Click on the Basics icon to start doing the puzzles. Work through each step. Do Basics, Procedures and Loops. You can skip Spritebox.  Click on the code.org icon to receive your certificate. 

Bonus: Go to The DoSeum and visit digiPlaySpace. Go to the Talk Like a Robot exhibit to see what you would sound like as a robot!

Activity Completed

Artificial Intelligence

Unplugged Activity

Recognize patterns with a game of 20 Questions. 

  • Get a group of 3-5 family members or friends
  • The objective of 20 questions is to guess the person, place, or thing in 20 questions or less by asking “yes” or “no” questions.
  • Select one person who is “it”. This person will think of a person, place, or thing. Make sure it is something the other people would know about. 
  • Other players will begin to take turns asking “yes” or “no” questions as they try to guess what the person, place, or thing is. The person who is “it” needs to track how many questions have been asked, there is a total limit of 20 questions other players can ask altogether.
  • If a player guessed the person, place, or thing before the 20 questions were up, they become “it”. If players did not guess the person, place, or thing before the 20 questions were up the answer is revealed.
  • Keep playing and recognizing patterns!
Activity Complete? Move on to Plugged.
Plugged Activity

Go to The DoSeum and find the Play the Planet exhibit in the Explore Gallery. Select a country on the map. The planet is going to try to guess your country. Answer his questions and see if he guesses your country!

Activity Completed

Game Design

Unplugged Activity

Find a board or card game at home.

Investigate the game components. Have a conversation with your parent/guardian about the game.

What is the title of the game?

What is the game’s target audience?

How many players can play? 

What happens during the game?

What are the game pieces?

Activity Complete? Move on to Plugged.
Plugged Activity

Click on the button below to start the activity! 

  • Click on the brown Play Now button to start Code Monkey. Follow the animated prompts and instructions to start coding.
  • When you complete challenge #3, you will be prompted to sign up to save your progress. Click the green Sign Up Button to sign up. Signing up for Code Monkey is free!
  • Complete at least the first two sets of challenges, that is challenges 4 – 20. These challenges cover some basic coding skills for Game Design.
  • Take a screen shot of the screen when you complete Challenge 20 or a screen shot of your account page.
Activity Completed

Digital Citizenship

Unplugged Activity

Try a Device Free Dinner!

  • Talk with your family and declare a device free dinner
  • Come up with three “courses” of conversation for your dinner with your family. Write these courses down and follow them at your next dinner.

The purpose of this #DeviceFreeDinner is to build awareness of how to maintain a balanced approach to using media.

Activity Completed

Intermediate

Fundamentals

Unplugged Activity

Program your parents to do one of your morning routines (brushing your teeth, eating breakfast, getting dressed, etc.) Create an algorithm. Invite your parents to follow your algorithm

Parents follow these instructions PRECISELY. Do not assume any knowledge of the routine or any details. For example if a child writes to put toothpaste on the toothbrush  but doesn’t specify where, put it on the wrong place. This helps teach kids how to be specific with their instructions, an important part of coding.

Here is a (rather entertaining) video that models the behavior for you: 

Kids, how did your algorithm work? Need to make any changes?

Activity Complete? Move on to Plugged.
Plugged Activity

Learn to code a joke.

Follow the tutorial steps on the left side. Drag the program blocks from the tutorial into the workspace. When you click on each actor on the right you will see their program blocks. Press “Run” to see the joke.

Now create your own joke! Drag the program blocks to the workspace. When complete press the share button at the top right corner to get a link of your joke.

Activity Completed

Robots

Unplugged Activity

Go on a robot search. Find what you think is a robot.

Have a conversation with your parent/guardian and answer these questions.

What does it do? 

Can it do a series of actions? 

Does it move? 

What do you think makes it move?

Does it repeat itself? 

After analysis do you still think it is a robot?

Activity Complete? Move on to Plugged.
Plugged Activity

Visit The DoSeum. Go to Innovation Station and find Baxter the robot. Do a fun arm gesture and watch as he mimics you. Can you program him to do a dance move? Can you follow his arm gestures?

Activity Completed

Artificial Intelligence

Unplugged Activity

Recognize patterns with rock, paper, scissors. 

  • Get a partner
  • The objective of rock, paper, scissors is to recognize a pattern in what your partner is selecting for their next move.
  • Begin playing rock, paper, scissors and for each round, make sure to write down what your partner decided to play. Example: rock, paper, scissors shoot! I chose rock. My partner chose scissors. Therefore, I would write down scissors for their first move.
  • Continue playing. You will begin to notice a pattern on the frequency for each move your partner chooses and the effect your choice has on the one your partner chooses.
Activity Complete? Move on to Plugged.
Plugged Activity

Play Rock, Paper, Scissors with a computer. Select Novice and begin playing. See what the computer is learning every time it plays you. 

Make sure you have Flash Player. If it still does not run check that flash player is enabled on your web browser. For Chrome visit this link:

Who is winning after 10 rounds? What about after 20 rounds? Is the computer good at predicting your moves?

Activity Completed

Game Design

Unplugged Activity
  • Find a board or card game at home that you have played before.
  • Your challenge here is to modify the game in any of the following ways:
    • Change the number of players
    • Change the rules of the game
    • Change the game pieces
  • Draw or create your modified game!
  • Play your changed game with family and/or friends
Activity Complete? Move on to Plugged.
Plugged Activity

Become a Minecraft Designer

  • Select the button above to begin. 
  • Click on the orange Start button for Minecraft Designer
  • Watch the Intro Video. Once video is over, click on the X at the top right hand corner of the video
  • Click the gray OK box to begin your puzzle for programming
  • Follow the instructions on the top of your screen in white text. Use the toolbox to make commands following those instructions by dragging them onto your workspace
  • Click the orange RUN button near the play space when you have completed programming in your workspace based on the instructions
  • If you hear a bell ring and a Congratulations box appears for your puzzle that means you successfully completed the puzzle!
  • Click continue on the congratulation box and complete all 12 puzzles for Minecraft Designer.
  • When all 12 puzzles are complete, you have become a Minecraft Developer! Congratulations! Copy the link of your Minecraft creation to share. 
Activity Completed

Digital Citizenship

Plugged Activity

Make an internet collage of all your favorite things. Use photos from the internet- but only photos you have the permission to use!  

How can you do this? By using Creative Commons.

Type in your search and click on Flickr or Google Images. It will only bring up photos you are allowed to use. Copy and paste them together into a one-page collage. You can use any medium such as Google docs, Word, Photoshop, Publisher, Blogster, or Gimp.

The purpose of this collage is to remind us that not all images online are free for public use. They often have copyrights or trademarks, meaning they belong to someone and cannot be used by everyone for free.

Activity Completed

Advanced

Fundamentals

Unplugged Activity

Create an algorithm to navigate The DoSeum. Use the gridded map to navigate Code-E from the entrance to digiPlaySpace. Use cardinal directions. Write down your algorithm on a piece of paper.

Activity Complete? Move on to Plugged.
Plugged Activity

Remix The DoSeum’s website! 

  • Follow the instructions for installing x-ray goggles. 
  • Follow the instructions for remixing a practice page. No need to create an account though at the end. 
  • Go to The DoSeum’s website and activate x ray goggles. Make any changes you want. Save a screen shot of what you did!
Activity Completed

Robots

Unplugged Activity

Think of a problem you want to solve.

Design a robot prototype that solves this problem. You can build it out of any materials you would like….

Discuss with your parent/guardian:

How does your robot solve the problem?

Would you make any changes to your prototype?

Activity Complete? Move on to Plugged.
Plugged Activity

Visit The DoSeum. Go to the Robot Dance Floor in Innovation Station. Program your robot to call all of the robots. 

Now program your robot to move to a disco square. Watch as your robot does a dance when it lands on it!

Bonus: Do you have a robot? Send us a video of an amazing program! Click activity completed and upload the video.

Activity Completed

Artificial Intelligence

Unplugged Activity

Try programming this robot face:

  • Print out this robot face:    
  • Punch out along the dotted lines. Have an adult help you with the cutting. You will have the face with some empty slots in them plus three strips.
  • Weave the strips through the slots for the eyebrows, eyes and mouth.
  • Get programming! Moving the strips to different letters will give you different expressions.

Things to Try:

What combination of letters makes the robot look happy? Can you come up with different expressions for mild happiness and utter joy? How about a series of combinations to make the robot look happy, surprised, then sad?

Create your own emotions by drawing different eyebrows, eyes and mouths.

This robot face is based on a real design used in the Queen Mary University in London. To see the real one in action go to www.lirec.eu.

Activity Complete? Move on to Plugged.
Plugged Activity

Do you think like a robot or a human? Take the Turing Test: 

This test explains how robots gain artificial intelligence.

Bonus: Create your own Turing Quiz:

Change the text of the code and see what it does. Give your quiz to a friend!

When done click “export” to get a .zip file.

Activity Completed

Game Design

Unplugged Activity

Design a game from scratch, test it, and play it!

  • Think about games you have played, they all have a title, a target audience, a recommended number of players, a manual on how to play it, and game pieces or even a game board.
  • Your challenge here is to design and make a game from scratch with all of the components: title, target audience, number of players, manual, summary of game, and game pieces.
  • Share it and play it with family and friends!
Activity Complete? Move on to Plugged.
Plugged Activity

Become a Minecraft Adventurer

  • Click on the orange Start button for Minecraft Adventurer
  • Watch the Intro Video. Once video is over, click on the X at the top right hand corner of the video
  • Choose your character. Steve or Alex?
  • Click the gray OK box to begin your puzzle for programming
  • Follow the instructions on the top of your screen in white text. Use the toolbox to make commands following those instructions by dragging them onto your workspace
  • Click the orange RUN button near the play space when you have completed programming in your workspace based on the instructions
  • If you hear a bell ring and a Congratulations box appears for your puzzle that means you successfully completed the puzzle!
  • Click continue on the congratulation box and complete all 14 puzzles for Minecraft Designer.
  • When all 14 puzzles are complete, you have become a Minecraft Developer! Congratulations! Copy the link of your Minecraft creation to share.

EXTRA CODING ACTIVITY

For more Game Design fun, another great resource for learning coding for Game Design is Stencyl. Stencyl requires a download, but it is free.

Activity Completed

Digital Citizenship

Unplugged Activity

The internet allows us to read, see, and hear things online that can lead us to have all sorts of feelings (happy, hurt, excited, angry, curious). What we do or say online can be powerful.

Draw a 4 panel comic about a cyber bully. How does he or she make the other people feel?

Enter your Cyber Hero!

What does your Cyber Hero do to save the day from cyber bullying? Is this something you can do too?

Draw another 4 panel comic.

Activity Completed

Thank You!

Thank you to our partners Youth Code Jam for their assistance in the creation of the Kid Coding Challenge. 

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