Utilising Coolest Projects

  • Hi,

    I run a CoderDojo for 7-9 year olds. I want to use the Coolest Projects event to focus the kids on a longer-term project - instead of just building applications on Scratch within the one hour session that we run.

    I’m finding it difficult to get the kids into the mindset of a bigger project.

    I’m using the help sheets that are on the Coolest Projects website - which are great by the way! - but I was wondering if anyone had similar issues or solutions to this issue?


  • CoderDojo Foundation

    @Vincent-Crimmins Hello :) Yea this tends to be an issue with younger children, particularly if there is over a two week gap between sessions. Coolest Projects can be a great motivator, and is used by many Dojos in this way to spur on young people to make their ideas a reality. Where is your Dojo located and are you able to attend a Coolest Projects event?

    Highlighting Complex Projects:

    Sometimes showing them examples of more complex projects can also be a good motivator. Many young people don’t realised the complexity they can add to their game, animation, quiz etc. So highlighting projects (you can find loads on the scratch website) that other young people have made that would require several sessions and then even getting young people to think about a specific project you showed them and ask them how would they break that complex project into steps.
    Then you can highlight how the young person might have gone about creating the project over 4 sessions (for example) eg. developing a stoyline, developing the scenes (if there is a series of different backgrounds), designing and creating characters and costumes, if they have the characters move/react, coding the background to interact with the character, programming the controls for the character, adding in complexities like gravity/ increasing speed/scoring and points/lives etc.

    You can then get them brainstorming their own ideas and planning out how much time it might take and get them working over sessions that way.
    The worksheets you mentioned are a great way to do this :)

    Really for Scratch them having accounts if using the online version is a big help so that all their projects are stored and they can assess them easily without using usbs (which they might leave a home, or lose).

    Local Dojo Expo:

    Some Dojos run an end of year Expo, whereby at the end of a term parents and some local people come to see the projects that young people at the Dojo have made and present. It’s basically a very local version of Coolest Projects, but it can work the same way as a motivator. If you tell them they’ve ten sessions to create something for an expo, but make sure to highlight that the merit is in creating and participating so that the prospect isn’t daunting to any of the young people. You can do this by giving each Ninja who participates a certificate or sticker/badge so that it is not seen as a competition, which can be off-putting for many young people.

    Combining being inspired by others while showcasing their ideas

    Coolest Projects combines these two. They get to see first hand projects other young people have created, ask them how long it took or how they made it, they also get the opportunity to share their own project and ideas with not only their family or local people but the general public and young people interested in technology from around the world.

  • Hi this is Liana from Mindmajix few days back i hear about coderdojo then after i google it, it is very useful for children and they know the programming knowledge at school level and this knowledge is helpful for their future, your conducting a very good program appreciate it.

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