After3-Coding Club

With Mark DeNardo

FUNDAMENTALS OF GAME DESIGN: Scratch and Pico-8

This course teaches students programmatic thinking and game design in Scratch for beginners through the Fundamentals of Scratch curriculum. Students who have graduated from this curriculum will be working in the game framework Pico-8. Scratch is a block-based coding system designed by MIT, which allows students to learn software engineering concepts through creative coding and game design. We will make games, creative projects, and learn lessons on variables, loops, UI/UX, and functions. Students will move sprites make music, create game loops, and build complex systems of art and play. Pico-8 is a game system made for advanced students to learn software engineering, game design, through the use of Lua code, music trackers, and sprite sheets. Students in this part of class will learn variables, loops, functions, and game states. Moving sprites, composing music/sfx, designing creative coding scenarios, and building games are all activities they can look forward to, and enjoy. Students will be required to use a mouse and keyboard, typical of 20th century PC computers. The ability to listen, type on a keyboard, solve problems, and have fun is required for this class.By the end of the semester, students will have a portfolio of Scratch and/or Pico-8 games.

Machine Learning and Python

This course at NEST+m considers how to make applications and art using machine learning. Disco Diffusion, Teachable Machine, and Python will be our paint and canvas for this course. Disco Diffusion is a Google Collab project built in Python which allows students to create art using Machine Learning. Teachable Machine is a framework which allows students to make AI models which differentiate sound, images, and poses that can then be used to build applications. Python is the most commonly used coding language and is essential to learning Machine Learning on all scales. We will go through the basics of data types, variables, loops, and functions; make art in python turtle, and build AI applications. Through design thinking we will solve environmental, social, engineering, and industrial problems using these AI tools. Students will be required to use a mouse and keyboard, typical of 20th century PC computers. The ability to listen, type on a keyboard, solve problems, and have fun is required for this class.

LEGO SPIKE Design Workshop

LEGO SPIKE is a fun robotic framework that allows students to explore coding and design concepts. In this class, we will start at the very beginning of coding concepts and engineering…gradually increasing the complexity of lessons and projects. Design and build motorized machines, catapults, pyramids, demolition derby cars, truss and suspension bridges, buildings, and other constructions. Explore concepts in physics, mechanical engineering, structural engineering, and architecture while playing with your favorite creations. This is a hands-on and minds-on class suitable for LEGO® novices to “maniacs.” This class is not affiliated with the LEGO Group. This is also a course for young students, who wish to understand the basics of software engineering and design through the lens of LEGO. Students do not require familiarity with LEGO, but a little is helpful. Students will be required to use a mouse and keyboard, typical of 20th century PC computers. The ability to listen, type on a keyboard, solve problems, and have fun is required for this class.

HTML and Web for Beginners NEW!

This class is for 1st and 2nd graders, and focuses on building web sites, using a computer, and nurturing safe viewing practices on the internet. Each week we will pick a fun topic…and build games, and websites using paper prototyping, HTML basics, as well as singing and moving exercises. Students will learn how to code in HTML, the fundamental language of the internet. We will create websites featuring favorite images, videos, stories, and games. As a foundation course for the After3 Coding Club classes, we will also teach children how to use a PC computer, keyboard, and mouse. Most importantly, we will discuss safe practices on the internet. There will be group discussions, and important lessons on what is appropriate to view on the internet, ensuring that they will take these practices with them into the world. Children will build a portfolio of fun websites that they can then share with friends and family.

MINECRAFT: Game as Coding Framework

After3 is offering a new MINECRAFT course as part of the Coding Club curriculum.
For MINECRAFT lovers, this course is not one to miss. Students will explore block-based and Python coding, and to understand the concepts of objects, classes, variables, and functions. We use code to work with the Agent, a helper bot included in the Minecraft Education program. Students will enjoy survival open play, building creative worlds, accomplishing STEM challenges, and focusing on working as a group to solve coding problems. This is a course for young students, who wish to understand the basics of software engineering and design in a really fun game. Students do not require familiarity with MINECRAFT, but a little is helpful. Knowing how to listen, solve problems, use a mouse and keyboard, and have fun will be helpful for this class.