Plan for Christmas Card – Improvements.

For the final week we are going to convert the Christmas Card into a Christmas Game.

We will be starting with the Christmas Card that we made last week, if you weren’t there or want to start with the same one that I will be using, have a look at the bottom of this document, I have added instructions on how to get it.

The Plan for this week.

We will be adding some additional Sprites. We will be using Scratch Sprites rather than drawing our own to save time.

  • A sprite for Santa’s sleigh
    • This will move backwards and forward across the top of the screen
  • A sprite for the Presents
    • This will fall from Santa’s sleigh to the bottom of the screen, not directly down though.
    • This sprite will have many costumes.
  • As sprite for you
    • You will be able to move Left and Right across the bottom of the screen to try and catch the falling presents.

The Sleigh Sprite

Scratch does not have a sleigh sprite, so I used the reindeer.

He needs to start on the top left of the screen and move all the way to the top right of the screen and then turn around and go back to the top left, he will just keep doing this.

The code might look something like this:

The Present Sprite

We might have to draw this one.

The present Sprite will start from wherever the Sleigh Sprite is glide down to a random place at the bottom of the Screen, you can make the Present a random size as well to make it more interesting.

The is a Scratch block to put one Sprite in the same place as another Sprite So the code to move down the screen will look something like this:

There will also be code to count the number of presents caught. So, if the Present Sprite touches you, it will count as being caught, so you can increase your score.

When the present is caught you can change to a random costume to display the unwrapped present.

I’ll let you figure out this code as a little challenge (I haven’t done it yet 😊 )

You Sprite

This is the one that catches the presents. I used the Scratch cat, finally.

Not much code for this one, he just needs to move left or right using the left or right keys on the keyboard. So, something like this:

Getting the Christmas Card project.

Login with user name AthenryAdvancers and Password Advancers

Select My Stuff and then click the See Inside button for the ClassVersion-ChritmasCard

You will then have to save it to your device, select File – Save to your computer, so you can work on your version.

Now you will have to open Scratch 3 on your device and open the file you just saved.

CoderDojo Athenry Belts Awarded May 2014


We awarded a record number of 87 belts at CoderDojo Athenry in May 2014:

  • 3 White belts for ongoing participation
  • 55 Yellow Scratch belts for competent  coders
  • 15 Blue Advanced Scratch belts
  • 1 Yellow Python belt
  • 3 Blue Python belts
  • 10 Green Minecraft Modding belts for creating and ublishing Java/JavaScript mods online

In keeping with the CoderDojo ethos, these belts were earned by our young people meeting agreed standards in different coding disciplines. Belts are not for winning competitions against each other, but celebrate personal achievement, and are never given away without being earned.

Congratulations to all the young people who earned their belts!


Countdown to Pizza!


We have just a  few weeks left before we finish up in CoderDojo Athenry for the summer.

Here is a reminder of our upcoming schedule:

  • On 18 and 25 May, ninjas continue to work on solo/group projects towards earning belts/certs, with the support of the mentors
  • On 1 June, we won’t be open for the bank holiday weekend
  • 8 June will be our final week: we will award belts/certificates for your projects, and we will have pizza for everybody!

After that, we will close for the summer and resume in the Autumn.

Scratch Intermediate & Advanced Challenge 18: Start work on your own project!


This week, we started work on multi-week projects!

The goal will be to design and implement your own project, with the support of the mentors, to demonstrate the skills you have acquired over the past few months.

In a few weeks, everyone will get to demo their projects and work towards earning:

  • Yellow certificates: for ninjas who already have a yellow Scratch belt and demo a project using those skills
  • Blue certificates: for ninjas who already have a blue Scratch belt and demo a project using those skills
  • Yellow belts and white belts: only for ninjas who do not already have a belt.

As we discussed, there are also a couple of international CoderDojo contests coming up – discuss with your parents whether you would like to enter.

Here are my notes from the day (PDF): CDA-S2-Challenge18-YourProject.pdf

As usual, get in touch on Twitter or in the comments if you would like the PowerPoint version of the notes.

Scratch Intermediate & Advanced Challenge 17: Learn about Painting!


This week, Martha led a great session in which she showed  the ninjas how to use a painting program. There are of course lots of reasons why this is useful for coding:

  • For animation, as we have been working on in recent weeks
  • For graphics for websites, including logo design as the HTML group are working on
  • For buttons, icons, and other graphics in other apps and programs

The specific program that Martha used is Paint.NET. This is free (though not open-source) and is pretty easy to use, while being quite a bit more advanced than either the Paint editor in Scratch or Microsoft Paint that is installed in Windows by default.

You can download Paint.NET here:

Paint.NET works on Windows only:  if you have a Linux or Mac laptop, many of the same functions are available in other painting packages, and the mentors will help you bridge the gap. One good alternative is Pinta Paint, which is multi-platform and its functionality is based on that of Paint.NET.

Here are the notes from the day (PDF format): CDA-S2-Challenge17-LearnAboutPainting.pdf

As usual, get in touch on Twitter or in the comments if you would like the PowerPoint version of the notes.

Also this week, our ninjas demonstrated models they had built in plasticine and graphics they had created – follow this link to see them!

Scratch Intermediate & Advanced Challenge 16: Model and Animate!


(This week, we again merged our Intermediate and Advanced Scratch groups, which means that our Challenge numbering system is now a bit messed up!)

We had lots of fun in CoderDojo Athenry with this challenge, which involved:

  • Making models with plasticine (a.k.a morla or playdough)
  • Converting the physical models into digital ones, by either drawing them in a painting program or photographing them & cleaning the photos up
  • Animating the images in Scratch

Here is a link to my fairly primitive animated Scratch model: our ninjas have made much more impressive models, which we will showcase in a post soon.

Here are my notes from the day (PDF format): CDA-S2-Challenge16-ModelAndAnimate.pdf

As usual, get in touch on Twitter or in the comments if you would like the PowerPoint version of the notes.

Next week, we will extend this topic by continuing to do modelling and have ninjas demonstrate what they have made.