Hour of Code
Popular Character Games:
Please choose one of the options below, you can learn coding with Star Wars Characters, Anna and Elsa, or by playing Minecraft with Steve and Alex. You will learn about loops, variables, functions, and more. If you would like definitions to these terms please look at vocabulary below! All of these options are great for beginners but there are more advanced modules if indicated with a (*)
More Basic Concepts can be learned with the following games:
Basic Programming Concepts
At the core of any program are variables. Variables are where the dynamic information is stored. When you type your name into a web form and send it, your name is a variable. There are different types of variables, such as: characters, strings (i.e., a string of characters, such as a name), integers (numbers without decimals points), floating-point numbers (numbers with digits after a decimal point), boolean (a variable to represent true or false), and arrays (a list of variables).
Just imagine you needed a program to do something 20 times. What would you do? You could copy and paste the code 20 times, and have a virtually unreadable program. Or, you could tell the computer to repeat a bit of code between point A and point B, until the time comes that you need it to stop. Such a thing is called a loop.
Conditionals are where a section of code is only run if certain conditions are met. The most common conditional in any programming language is the ‘if’ statement: for example, if “x” is true, then do “y.”
A function is just a group of code that’s been given a name. By grouping a block of code together and naming it, we can re-use it later and throughout the application without having to rewrite the whole code block again. Not only does it save time and reduces the overall code size of an application, it also means that if there was something wrong, we would only need to change it in one place.
10 Most Popular Programming Languages*
*(according to GitHub)
Learn more with these programming resources:
Lynda.com: Quality video courses on a variety of programming topics taught by industry experts. Available anywhere for free with your Lawrence Public Library card!
Scratch: With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community. Scratch is designed especially for ages 8 to 16, but is used by people of all ages.
MIT App Inventor: MIT App Inventor is a beginner’s introduction to programming and app creation that transforms the complex language of text-based coding into visual, drag-and-drop building blocks. The simple graphical interface grants even an inexperienced novice the ability to create a basic, fully functional app within an hour or less.
Made With Code: Want to see what code can do? Make music, art, and more with one of our coding projects.
GameSalad Creator: Want to make games? With GameSalad Creator you can learn the basics and start making games in about an hour. That’s right. You can make your first game in about an hour.
Codecademy: Learn to code interactively, for free. Codeacademy offers free courses in many of today’s most popular programming languages.
Crunchzilla Code Monster: Code Monster, Code Maven, and Game Maven are interactive tutorials where kids and adults can play with code, experiment, build, and learn. Data Maven is an introductory statistics tutorial designed to spark a curiosity for statistics and data.
Blockly Games: Blockly Games is a series of educational games that teach programming. It is designed for people who have not had prior experience with computer programming. By the end of these games, players are ready to use conventional text-based languages.