Scratch Challenge 4 – Cannon Blast

We are going back to Challenge 4, because somehow I skipped over #4. I maybe need some work on counting.

This week’s challenge is all about shooting an object through the air in order to hit a target. Here are the three criteria:

  1. Cannon must be able to move up and down
  2. A flying cannonball
  3. A Random location for the target

What are scratch challenges, you ask?

I taught my children some scratch programming last spring. We finished the book, but they wanted more. I decided to put together weekly programming challenges for them. I present the challenge and give them a week to come up with a solution. I provide some help and examples along the way. Plus, I have decided to share the challenges and help online at The Dr GooF YouTube Channel.

Watch the video below for the full description.

Thanks and Happy Cannon Blasting!

Scratch Challenge 5 – Dance Off

The challenge this week is a simple and fun one. Just create some dancing characters. Here are the 3 things to include:

  1. More than one dancing sprite (a sprite is a character in Scratch Programming)
  2. Add music/sound
  3. Add some custom sound

What are scratch challenges, you ask?

I taught my children some scratch programming last spring. We finished the book, but they wanted more. I decided to put together weekly programming challenges for them. I present the challenge and give them a week to come up with a solution. I provide some help and examples along the way. Plus, I have decided to share the challenges and help online at The Dr GooF YouTube Channel.

Watch the video below for the full description.

Thanks and Good Luck!

A Computer Science Ted Talk for Everyone (even homeschoolers)

Computer Science is for Everyone (from 2014)

Hadi Partovi begins with a story of his childhood in Iran. Then he goes on to discuss the importance of teaching computer science. Finally, he finishes with the surprising and rapid spread of computer science courses in public schools. Because public schools do it, is not a reason for it to be applied at homeschool. However, Hadi provides a strong case for why computer science is important enough to be taught. Here are a select few quotes from the video.

When I went to school, every Student would learn how to dissect a frog. Every student would learn how electricity works. Every student would learn how to prove a basic theorem. [..] In today’s day and age, it’s just as important for a kid to learn: what is an algorithm or how does the internet work?

What will careers look like for a student graduating in 2030?

Technology Affects every field

Create – Make Summer 2018 the Time to Start

Summer is a time of fun and relaxation. Typically the pace of life slows down a bit and free time increases. The summer months present enough time to accomplish a number of tasks. Here is a list of tasks that take more than 1 hour, but can easily be accomplished over a summer vacation.

  • Build a tree house
  • Learn to computer program
  • Teach yourself a new skill: cooking, woodworking, musical instrument, skateboarding, …
  • Learn and identify 10 constellations
  • Visit 10 new parks
  • Train to ride your bike 20 miles
  • Create a Youtube channel and upload weekly videos
  • Train to run a mile
  • Learn to build a computer
  • Earn enough money to buy those computer parts (see above)
  • Read a book series
  • Write a book series
  • Research and find the oldest building in your city, then visit it
  • Start a blog and write 1 post a week
  • Plan and host a neighborhood gathering
  • Walk dogs in your neighborhood
  • Setup a tent and camp in your backyard
  • Paint a new picture every day
  • Sell Lemonade and track the best time of day for sales
  • Have a cookie baking competition with your friends, everyone bakes cookies then get together for a taste-test
  • Learn a different language
  • Build the tallest Lego tower you can, then try a different design

Summer is a great time to create. What are you going to start?

Technology: 4 Reasons to add it to Your Homeschool Curriculum

Technology and computer science are not typically considered part of a homeschool or any learning curriculum. Here are a few reasons to consider teaching it as part of your homeschool curriculum, even at an early age.

It’s Fun

Giggles, smiles, engagement, and more are what you can expect if your young children begin learning to program. Sometimes, it is even more fun when things don’t go as expected.

Far reaching impact

Never before in the history of human-kind has it been so easy to reach so many people. I have worked in technology for roughly 20 years, and I am still amazed with this. From just about anywhere, I can pull my phone from my pocket turn on the video and instantly share that live video to a place where over 2 billion people can view it. Amazing! It doesn’t matter whether you want to: spread the news of Christianity, share stories, create art, teach others, or many other things; technology allows you to reach far more people than ever before.

Be a Creator, Not just a Consumer

Technology can be a great thing, but it can also be a huge time-waster. Learning to create games and computer programs can transform screen time into learning and creation time.

Jobs

Look at any list of the top jobs and you will find computer jobs splattered all over the list. Interesting, because many of these jobs did not exist 15 to 20 years ago. Even jobs that are not “tech” jobs have a lot of technology aspects. Given the tech advances, all jobs in the near future might be technology jobs.