We don't have to tell you what Minecraft is! One of the most popular video games, kids can build almost anything in Minecraft. In our program they will learn how to build their own mod (short for "modifications") allowing them to design their own blocks, items, and recipes! Students will learn the basics of coding logic, including functions, loops, and boolean logic principles. All while creating mods they can continue working even after the program is over! Students will also have time to play with the mods created by the other students in the program. Learn more about the online site we use for this program, Learn To Mod, at www.learntomod.com.
In this program students build their own mobile apps using the MIT App Inventor, an intuitive, visual programming environment that allows everyone – even children – to build fully functional apps for smartphones and tablets. The MIT App Inventor project seeks to empower all people, especially young people, to move from technology consumption to technology creation. Participants will learn programming and mobile design as they bring their own app creations to life. Bringing an Android device is recommended but not required.
Developed by MIT, Scratch is a free, versatile visual programming language that uses "blockly" - the code is in easy to manipulate blocks that can be arranged to create unique and varied programs. As children create with Scratch they learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. This program is great for novice or experienced young programmers. The LOFTechnology Scratch Program takes students from the basics all the way to making their own animations and games.
We also frequently augment our Scratch programs with hardware, including Makey Makey and the Finch robot! You can learn more about Scratch (and begin exploring) at scratch.mit.edu and check out our student creations in our studio: https://scratch.mit.edu/studios/4162457/
The LOFTechnology 3D animation program uses Alice - "an innovative programming environment to support the creation of 3D animations, providing tools and materials for teaching and learning computational thinking, problem solving, and computer programming across a spectrum of ages and grade levels." During this program the students learn how to setup a 3D scene and program the objects and camera to move in the 3D environment. The instructor will take the students through programming a project together and then the students can create their own unique 3D animation! Alice is a free application which means students can continue creating outside of the classroom!
Create your own Mario-style video game with custom levels, players, sounds, and an epic boss! Will your friends be able to make it through all of your levels?! The only limit is your imagination! In this program we use Game Maker Lite to create a 2D game with multiple levels, each one harder than the last. Collect tokens, defeat enemies with projectiles, and avoid pitfalls and obstacles. Create your own characters and design a different background for each level. Animate your characters, collectibles, obstacles, and projectiles. This program is a combination of 2D art, design, and programming.
Learn to make your own immersive 3D multiplayer experiences using Roblox Studio - a free intuitive desktop design tool. Any experience imaginable can be created on Roblox. In this program participants will learn how to create an obby (obstacle course) with traps and power-ups, and then they will create their own adventure game!
LOFT is excited to offer Roblox programs because not only do kids love playing and creating with Roblox, but "Roblox’s roots have always been steeped in STEM education". Additionally, Roblox is dedicated to the online safety and privacy of all of its players. Learn more about Roblox here and view the Roblox parent's guide here.