Middle School Coding Camp: Coding 3D Games and Stories With Alice 3
In this summer program, students will learn to make their own, creative programs with Alice, free programming software that helps them learn the logic and art of computer programming. It will help them develop their creativity and logic in a fun and enjoyable way. Last year, a similar camp was done using Alice 2. Alice 3 will be used this year and is more Objected-Oriented Programming in nature.
Alice is innovative programming software that makes it easy to create 3D animations, build interactive stories, or program games. Alice includes a large library of familiar characters and objects that can be used in one’s program. Alice is a great tool for learning logical and computational thinking skills and the fundamental principles of programming. There are characters and scenes with themes available that will interest students such as a space theme, a tea party theme, a sport theme, an animal theme and many more to explore.
Together we will learn various programming logic and techniques, and then students will be provided with the opportunity to try them on their own, provided with feedback and guidance so they can achieve their goals and objectives. By the end of the week, students will put all they have learned together and create their own interactive story or game to share with their family and friends.
This camp will both help to develop students’ logic, math and creativity skills as well as help students who may be interested in continuing to study programming in the future. One such opportunity would be the 2023-2024 course offerings for The Logic of Computer Programming as well as The Art of Computer Programming.
As a middle school program, students are welcome who have no programming background or some past experience. We will go through programming concepts, along with examples, and see them utilized in a program. Each student will then have an opportunity to use it in their program.
Please download and prepare the following software ahead of the camp:
Download Alice 3.0 found here: https://www.alice.org/get-alice/alice-3/ (Windows, Mac and Linux downloads are available)
No texts are required
How to Think Like a Coder: Without Even Trying by Jim Christian
Any Alice textbook found on Amazon would be helpful.
Peter Belfry has a range of teaching and tutoring experience in a variety of subjects and age levels from kindergarten through to adult education at the college level and has taught at several classical, Christian and public schools. Currently, he serves as a professor of computer science with Canadore College, teaching courses on Operating Systems and programming languages such as Windows, Linux, HTML, C++ and Visual Basic. Peter holds an Honors BA from Trent University in History as well as a BA in Education, specializing in History and Computer Science. He holds an MA from Knox Theological Seminary in Classical and Christian studies, which provides him a background for teaching from a classical perspective. For his MA program, he read many of the Great Books as well as studied Scripture and church history. Peter has completed a week-long teacher training with the Association of Classical Christian Schools and Rockbridge Academy. His favourite piece of classical literature is Dante’s The Divine Comedy. In addition to teaching, Peter also has experience serving in a pastoral role and enjoys volunteering to serve in his local church and community. He helps in evangelistic outreach as well as teaching lessons from the Bible. Peter has experience and training as an English as a Second Language instructor as well. He has experience teaching both online and in person. He believes in Scholé’s approach in seeking “restful learning” and believes that education should be life-giving and freeing for the soul as it should acknowledge the Lord Jesus as the source of all that is true, good and beautiful. Peter lives in the North Bay, Ontario area with his wife and twin boys. firstname.lastname@example.org
Computer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Webcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
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