With school closures and a possible lockdown looming, we thought we would share some resources to keep you busy over the extended break. This could be a perfect time to tackle a big new project or perfect one you’ve been working on in your dojo. And with collaboration apps available like Slack and Zoom, there’s no reason you can’t stay connected with your fellow ninjas and friends and even work together on a project.
A lot of these resources blur the lines between play and learning, which is exactly why learning to code is so much fun. Some apps will teach a specific programming language, whilst others are more game based and teach logic and programming concepts. We’ve also thrown in a few other STEM resources to keep you busy.
Programming 101: An introduction to Python
This awesome course is ideal for anyone looking for a basic introduction to Python. You will explore basic programming concepts such as sequencing and repetition, produce your own program to solve a simple problem, and much more.
Scratch to Python: Moving from Block- to Text-based Programming
Most CoderDojo Ninjas begin their coding journey with Scratch, and the transition to text-based programming can be a challenge for some. With this course, you’ll explore how you can transfer programming and thinking skills from Scratch to Python. This course is perfect for CoderDojo volunteers, or parents of young people, who are looking to progress their learning at home. This is just one of the many amazing free courses provided by FutureLearn.
Swift is a powerful programming language created by Apple and used by the pros to build today’s most popular apps. In Swift Playground you solve puzzles to master the basics and then take on a series of challenges and step up to more advanced playgrounds. It requires no coding knowledge, so it’s perfect for students just starting out and available on iPad and Mac. It’s also super fun and playful.
The Raspberry Pi website has a stack load of projects that will help you start writing code and get going with digital making. They also have a range of Big Projects which you can work on in a group.
These courses on this site are suited to adults, but would also suit older teens that want to tackle more advanced programming. There is a cost involved with this one, but you can trial it free for month before committing.
DIY.org is more than just a resources website. It is a huge library of hands-on projects, how-to videos, and an awesome kid community. They have a humongous range of courses and challenges covering every imaginable topic and interest. There are a heap of amazing tech skills to learn like app development, game design and front end development, as well as an assortment of other amazing skills like entrepreneurship, entomology, cartooning and astronomy. They even teach fort building! Kids earn badges while they learn new skills, can share their projects, and interact with peers. There is a subscription cost involved with this one, but you can trial it free for a month.
Explore Earth and Space with this awesome website by NASA. It’s packed full of awesome astro information in easy to read formats and also has heaps of fun games and space related activities. When you’re finished with that one, check out NASA Kids Club.
Nancy Drew: Code and Clue Mystery Coding Game
This is a fun story-based game that involves collecting evidence to solve a mystery and dragging visual code blocks into place. An excellent entry-level coding app for STEM development.
Cat meme generator
At times like these we need meme’s to lighten the mental load, which makes this Cat Meme Generator an essential resource right now.
Of course let’s not forget the clever folks at Scratch are always busy creating new projects to work on. Code.org is also jam-packed full of clever resources for all age groups as well as teachers. And most importantly, make sure you check out all the resources at CoderDojo international.
Ok yes, you’re right, movies do not technically qualify as resources. But we promise they are STEM based and sure to pique the curiosity of anyone with a love for tech. Perfect for those lazy afternoons or the Friday night family movie.
Wall E – If you haven’t met Wall E, you are missing out! A lone robot left on Earth, Wall-E spots a probe named EVE who has returned to Earth to scope things out, he falls in love and follows her back across the galaxy on an epic adventure.
Big Hero 6 – Another loveable robot features in this movie about a 14-year-old genius who invents special microbots to join his brother’s university robotics program. After tragedy ensues, a group of heroes unites and uses their strengths in chemistry and engineering to overtake a crafty villain.
Dream Big: Engineering Our World – This documentary highlights engineers from various backgrounds and the projects they’re designing, from earthquake-proof structures to footbridges in developing countries.
War Games – All the retro feels here with this 80’s classic. In WarGames, a high school student accidentally hacks into a military computer that controls nuclear arms while looking for new video games online. . .and almost sets off World War III. It’s up to him to convince the government that he was the one who simulated a Soviet attack.
Have you discovered any resources that you think we’d like? We’re always on the look out for great new learning platforms, coding games, or any other STEM related awesome-ness. Be sure to share anything you find with us via email at CoderDojo WA or on our Facebook page. And we especially LOVE seeing any projects or games you have been working on, so please email them to us and we can share them with the CoderDojo WA community.