Please note: This course takes place every Wednesday for eight sessions, with no class on October 10. We will begin at 3:30 and the class will end at 5:00.
Open to students in 4th through 7th grades. Students are welcome to ride the bus to the library and may work on their own projects or homework in the lab until class begins.
Students must attend all sessions to receive a certificate of completion.
Minecraft Coding 1: Events, 9/19
In this lesson, we will learn about events and event handlers, which are important concepts in computer science and can be found in all programming languages. We will start with a fun unplugged activity that demonstrates cause and effect, and how events trigger actions in the real world. Next, we’ll get hands-on with MakeCode in Minecraft, and finally, we’ll challenge you to create your own MakeCode projects that use events to activate different parts of your program.
Minecraft Coding 2: Coordinates, 9/26
This lesson will cover how to move around in a Minecraft world with respect to the three-coordinate grid represented by (X Y Z) coordinates and the difference between relative position and world position. We’ll also show you how to create a compass rose to help you find your way around and create a tool that allows you to copy and paste entire structures in the Minecraft world.
Minecraft Coding 3: Variables, 10/3
In this lesson, we’ll explore the concept of a variable, an important way to store information and make your programs more flexible and adaptable. We’ll build on what we have learned about Events by using a variable to pass additional information in when an event occurs. Finally, we’ll challenge you to write your own program using variables to customize how it runs.
No class on 10/10
Minecraft Coding 4: Iteration, 10/17
In this lesson, we’ll explore ways to make things repeat. You might repeat actions in a program to have a certain effect, or you might use repetition to accomplish the same task in a smaller number of steps. We’ll introduce you to the Agent, your own personal robot who can accomplish tasks for you like building a farm, and we’ll create some original dance moves so your Agent can get down and dance on the floor. Finally, we’ll challenge you to write your own program to direct your Agent to do something cool.
Minecraft Coding 5: Conditionals, 10/24
Computer programs are made up of instructions that tell the computer how to process input and deliver output. In Minecraft, the instructions you write are triggered by events or by commands, and they control what actions take place in the Minecraft world. An important part of programming is telling the computer WHEN to perform a certain task. For this, we use something called ‘conditionals’, because a certain Condition or Rule has to be met before an action is performed.
Minecraft Coding 6: Functions, 10/31
Often in programming, there are tasks or procedures that are used frequently within the same program. Rather than rewrite the lines of code that perform a particular task each time you need it, you can group that set of instructions together as a function. Grouping frequently used instructions as a function makes your code more efficient. You can write the set of instructions once as a function and from then on simply ‘call’ the function from inside your program whenever you need that task done. A function is usually given a name that describes the task it will perform when called, making your code easier to read, too!
Minecraft Coding 7: Arrays, 11/7
In computer science, an array is a series of places to store things. Earlier we learned how to use variables as a way to store information. Arrays store multiple values and they are accessed from a single object, the array itself. We’ll continue with the idea of storing information for later use, but in this lesson, we’ll use many values. You’ll learn the usefulness of arrays as a collection of related items. You’ll learn how to use the array operations to add and get items to arrange and remember.
Minecraft Coding 8: Artificial Intelligence, 11/14
In this chapter, we’ll dive into the popular field of Artificial Intelligence, or “AI”. The art and science of crafting programs that mimic, and even surpass human intelligence, AI is tremendously important to the future of computer science.
Registration will open on 9/10