After completing the topics of Conditional Code and Logical Operators under Learn to Code 1, I didn’t find any puzzles especially hard. Some were a bit more challenging than others, but after about 3 tries or so, I was able to figure them out.
Conditional code and logical operators make code easier and also specify what you want Blu, Byte, or another character to do.
Conditional code is making your character follow a set of commands if a situation, or boolean, is true. (A situation and a boolean are the same). For example, if you want your character to collect a gem if they are on one, you’d use an ”if” block and code, “if isOnGem ( collectGem() )” If this situation is possibly false, you’d either add an “else if” statement or just an “else” statement. For example, ”if isOnGem ( collectGem ) else if isOnSwitch ( toggleSwitch() ) You’d add an “else if” statement when there are multiple possible situations, but if there is only one other possible situation, you’d just add an ”else” statement with a set of commands and no boolean. When using ”else if”, if the boolean you proposed is true, than your character would follow your set of commands. On the other hand, for just an ”else” statement, there is no boolean because there is no other possible outcome if the first boolean was false. For example, if you want your character to move forward if there is an open switch on their left, but the boolean is false and the only other possible situation is that your character would be behind a closed switch, then you’d put an ”else” statement and add the commands: ”moveForward() toggleSwitch()”
Logical Operators are a feature you can add to your boolean to make the code more specific for your character. There are 3 logical operators I learned. One was the ”NOT” operator, which in code reads as ”!” Another was the AND operator, which in code reads as ”&&” Lastly, the third operator was the OR, which in code reads as ”II” These operators are supposed to change the boolean in a specific way. the NOT operator you’d use right in front of a boolean if you want your character to follow your set of commands if the boolean you proposed is the opposite. For example, “if !isBlocked ( moveForward() ) This would read as, if not is blocked ahead, move forward. The 2 other operators are the AND and the OR. The AND operator is used if you want your character to follow your set of commands when both situations are true. For example, if you want your character to collect a gem and toggle a switch when they’re on a gem and a switch, you’d use it that way. the OR operator is used when you want your character to follow your set of commands if at least one boolean is true.
This week in Computer Tech, we have just begun to start using the coding app, Playgrounds. We did the Learn To Code tutorial on commands in which Byte has to successfully complete a task by following the commands you give him. Byte is the orange, alien-like creature on the right of the screenshot.
When coding, you have to be very careful because one wrong step makes the entire thing collapse and off-task. Sometimes, when I was doing this tutorial, Byte would move 2 steps instead of one because of a mistake, and then he’d be doing something totally different than what I wanted him to.
A good strategy to use when coding is going step by step. To make Byte successfully complete a task, before I started coding, I made a route for Byte in my head and then put the pieces together one by one, following those steps. It was very helpful and this way there weren’t as many errors.
Here are the steps for Byte to collect the gem andtoggle the switch using the shortest route:
a. Move forward
b. Move forward
c. Move forward
d. Collect gem
e. Move forward
f. Move forward
g. Move forward
h. Move forward
i. Toggle switch
Although coding is a bit time consuming, I think it really improves your problem solving skills and creativity.
The next project we have been working on, after the About Me, is the Music Video.
There’s one project that I really liked that was made by the user, SMS4CKH, (another student in my class). One thing I liked was the animation. He used the original Sprite, the orange cat, and while the music plays, the cat glides and bounces on edges and duplicates itself about every 3 seconds. Also, when you press the space bar, the cat dances to the music, which I thought was great as well.
One thing I liked about the music was that it was an uploaded loop that I’ve heard before. I think it sounded really good.
Lastly, there were two speakers in the background that were meant to be the Sprites playing the music. I also used this feature in my project.
The video, “Coding Stars,” I found very inspiring and it taught me a lot about coding. The one idea that I keep thinking about is that coding doesn’t take smarts, it takes determination and effort. Another thing that I found very interesting and amazing is that computers can be used for anything you want them to be used for. You can program them to do whatever you want. A lot of the coders were describing the amazing feeling of making computers do things that many people are able to access and see. Coding makes you think in many different, creative ways, and you learn a lot. As one of the coders states, ‘It should be mandatory for a citizen to learn how to read and write code.’ Coding opens many doors to amazing things and, after watching this video, I’m inspired to code and make computers do things that I, myself, want.
Our first assignment for computer tech was to try out Scratch and make a project including sprites and backdrops to make people learn more about us. It was pretty fun and taught me many cool things I can do with this coding application. Anyway, I included many different sprites in my project. I also got images from my photos and others from the internet. I included a soccer player, because my favorite sport is soccer, a water polo player, because my second-favorite sport is water polo, my fish, a plate of different fruits, (oranges and watermelon are my favorite), a snare drum, hi-hat, and suspended cymbal, because I play percussion, and one of my favorite books, The Hobbit, because I love to read. Lastly, I made my backdrop blue because it’s my favorite color. The link below will take you to my project…
This week I made my final video! I think I did much better than last time because of how I fixed the things that didn’t come out so well. Here it is:
This week, I filmed my first video! I used one of my brother’s ninja turtle legos that I found in one of his bins. I also got very lucky because my brother just had a birthday party and in the goody bag, he got some chocolate soccer balls. I figured they’d be the perfect size for the lego ninja turtle, so I asked my brother if I could use one of them for my first attempt. I used blue tac that I brought home from camp this summer to keep the soccer ball and the ninja turtle in place while taking pictures. As well as finding the ninja turtle in one of my brother’s bins, I found a mini soccer goal that I used one year for my birthday cake. It was also the perfect size. I came up with the idea of using confetti once the ninja turtle scores, so my mom said that I could hole punch red paper. For the field, I printed out a picture of grass and I also printed the word “GOAL” to add as graphics when the turtle scores.
About the app, I really enjoy using it because it’s not complicated at all. It’s very easy to use. It keeps all of your pictures in order and plays them all together to make a video.
Before making my first video, I watched some tutorials online that gave great tips. Here are some links:
After making a couple of videos, I learned some things that I could do differently for my final product. One: at the end of my second video, I accidentally moved the iPad, which messed up the angle of the next pictures. Next time, I’ll attach the iPad to the table by using blue tac, so the frame won’t move while taking pictures. Two: at the part when the figure scores, and I make confetti fall down, it was too far away from the camera, so my mom, (who helped me by taking the picture), wasn’t able to capture the confetti in the air. Next time, I’ll make sure to drop the confetti right in front of the camera. Three: I didn’t take multiple pictures of the goal sign, and I didn’t fix the posture of the figure right after kicking the ball. Next time, I’ll take at least three pictures of the goal sign, so it doesn’t disappear so quickly and I’ll also make sure to move the figure’s leg back to its regular position after kicking the ball. Finally, the fourth thing that I need to improve is making sure that in the video it looks like the ball rolls instead of just moving forward. I’ll need to rotate it a little each time and not just move it further down.
Here is my second product (the first one was an even simpler version just to try out the app):
Yesterday we made our pitch slideshow. We had to answer four questions.
1. What will you learn and make?
I will learn how to make a stop motion video. It will be a video of an action figure kicking a soccer ball and scoring a goal.
2. Why do you want to learn and make this?
I want to learn and make this because when I was about eight, my friend made a stop motion video and I’ve always wanted to try and make one, but I never got the chance to. It’s amazing how a lot of pictures put together can make a film.
3. How will you learn and make this?
I will learn and make this by using the proper tools, like a stand, camera, etc. I will also watch videos online, as well as contacting people who are experts.
4. What will success look like to you?
Being able to do something that I’ve always wanted to do and doing it well will look like success to me.
Mr. Turner assigned us a passion project. A passion project is one that is related to something that we are interested in and it can be anything. We are supposed to present to the class once we finish it. The project will last for five weeks. This past week was the first one, so we all had to choose our passion.
In school, Mr. Turner gave us a brainstorming sheet. We wrote down the things that we like, what we’re good at, what we wonder about, etc. After seeing a couple of examples of what students in the past have done, I got an idea.
I’ve thought how cool stop motion is and have wanted to make a video since I was about eight years old, after I saw one that a friend of mine made at a workshop. So I thought to myself that maybe I could do that for my project.
After more thinking, I narrowed down to three choices: making kind of like a sculpture out of recycled materials, doing a freestyle soccer trick, or making a stop motion video. I finally chose what I’m going to do. I decided to make a stop motion video of an action figure kicking a soccer ball and scoring a goal, but I don’t know what materials I’m going to use yet. Maybe I could make the action figure out of recycled materials, so then I have a little bit of my other choice as well.
This week we finished our blueprints and started building our flashlights! Unfortunately, the quarter’s over next week, so I think that this is our last project.
I finished gathering up all of my fittings, cutting out my pipes, and drilling holes in for my LED light and switch to go through. Also, while I was waiting my turn to solder my circuit, Mr. Calvert let me decorate it. I used red, blue, and black. Now it’s very unique.
I didn’t get to finish soldering my circuit together. This is because it was challenging to figure out which wire should provide a pathway for the negative charge and which wire should provide a path for the positive one. All of my wires are red, so that’s what confused me. The wire that’s supposed to have the negative charge has to be black and the wire that’s supposed to have the positive charge should be red. I think that I should really listen carefully when Mr. Calvert is giving directions so that I don’t have a hard time with something that can be easy.
After finishing my circuit, I will be able to accomplish the last step! That is, inserting it into the flashlight. I hope it works!
This is my flashlight so far: