Exploring Possibilities with Coding

Type: News

In my previous post about the Creative Coding class, I spoke about our unit on interactivity. In this unit, we explored different ways that students could interact with the programs they create. The goal was to show students that while most of the work is done sitting at a keyboard and monitor, programming is not restricted to this hardware. In addition, some interactions within programs can lead to interesting effects on the user.

With the knowledge and experience gained from the first unit, students were introduced to a variety of hardware and software they could explore using with their Processing code. This hardware included the Xbox 360 KinectLeapMotion Controller, MaKey MaKey, and Android phones. In addition, students were allowed to use a physics library called Box2D and were free to explore any other library they found that interested them.

The projects created ranged from interactive art installations with MaKey MaKey, planetary physics, collisions of 3D spheres, balancing games using the sensors of an Android phonel, and finger painting with the Kinect. One student, pictured below, used the MaKey MaKey to construct a prototype that would help her figure out the chances for a Astros win during baseball games. The “Astros Chair” contained buttons on the arm rest for various statistical record keeping such as buttons for adjusting runs for either team.

Learning the words to type and how to create solutions to problems are important criteria for learning to code. Guiding students to explore different hardwares that interface with coding and create experiences with them helps demonstrate the huge impact programming has on the world. Now that they’ve had a chance to explore, we’ll be moving into a 3-week project-based learning unit. Stay tuned!