Back-to-School: Help Your Kids Get Started Coding with Raspberry Pi’s Digital Making at Home
2020 may be the craziest year for back-to-school we’ve ever experienced! If you’re a student yourself or the parent of a student, chances are you may be interested - if not downright needing - to explore new, out-of-the-box approaches to getting an education.
With Raspberry Pi, you can develop your coding skills, even if you (or your child) is just a beginner and starting from Scratch (pun intended!)
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched a new initiative called Digital Making at Home that encourages and empowers students and their families to learn how to code and create fun projects at home. It’s a way to promote skill development in two of the most crucial 21st century skills: technology and creativity.
Since the pandemic and school lockdowns started in March 2020, Raspberry Pi has developed over 20 weeks’ worth of “code-along videos,” and the interest is increasing now that school is back in session, but in a new and unfamiliar way for many students.
For an added boost to the educational routine in your home, here’s just a sample of Digital Making at Home Projects you may want to try with your Pi:
For Elementary School Coders
How young is too young to start learning how to code?
If you’ve got an elementary school child at home, you may be interested in this project to make a “digital stress ball” that’s meant to introduce children as young as 5 or 6 years old to Scratch and the world of coding.
“Stress” may be an adult concern, but kids can have fun learning how to use the Scratch coding program to create funny faces, digitally transform the colors and shapes of their balls, and add a variety of sound effects and backgrounds. And kids of all ages can release frustration by clicking and clicking away on their wacky new digital balls.
With a focus on wellness for the month of September, this project can help even young kids stay healthy and happy, while encouraging families to “play” at coding together.
One of the most compelling reasons to learn how to code is so you can make your own video games. For students of all ages, video game technology is often an introduction and a continuing motivating factor to the quest to master digital technology.
You might be interested to learn how to create graphics for video games. Maybe someday you’ll create a character that will become the next Sonic the Hedgehog or join the ranks of your favorite characters from Fortnite. Even if character animation is not your thing, by learning some of the fundamentals of digital graphic creation, you’ll have a useful skill that can be applied to a variety of digital projects.
If you’d like to make a game inspired by Space invaders but with characters and world building driven by your own imagination, then check out this project originally created for the UK Scouts.
Or, maybe your passion is for retro style games? For example, maybe you’re a fan of the old Snake game. If so, you might want to develop your Python coding skills and create this “Slug” project version of the game.
If you love the retro Nintendo Entertainment System games, you’ll want to be sure to check out this retro gaming kit, which comes with all the hardware and real-feel gaming components you’ll love, along with a “quick guide” to code and play your favorite retro-style games.
An Innovative Student Experience
Have you or a student in your family tried out a Digital Making at Home Project? Do you think such programs ought to be central to the future of education? Tell us your story!
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