Beginners/Intermediate Scratch – Challenge 13 – Learn about the Raspberry Pi

CDA-S2-Challenge13-RaspberryPi-Demo

This week in CoderDojo Athenry, the other streams joined us at the start, as we began with a demo of the Raspberry Pi, a really interesting low-cost computer that has been brought out in the last year. It only costs about €30 for a basic one, to which you add a power supply (many mobile phone ones work on it), an SD card (instead of a hard drive), a keyboard and mouse, and connect it to your TV to get started.

We saw it running Scratch and Python programs, and a couple of them were passed around the room for everyone to examine.

We took the opportunity to learn about the main components in a desktop PC: how to identify them and what the function of each one is. We also saw the equivalent components in the Raspberry Pi.

After that, we returned to Mesh networking and the Chatty program that we started a couple of weeks ago, that not everyone had finished.

Here are my notes from the day (PDF format): CDA-S2-Challenge13-RaspberryPi-Demo.pdf

Ninjas who had finished the Chatty program and wanted to do more did work on a 2-player Rock-Paper-Scissors program. We didn’t have notes for this, but I showed the code and it is posted here: http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/cdathenry/3077050  (This is code for one of the players. Similar code is needed for the other one.)

If you would like a copy of my slides in PowerPoint format, get in touch via Twitter or the comments.

Intermediate Scratch – Challenge 12 – 2-Player Network Guessing Game

CDA-S2-Challenge12-2Player-GuessingGame

This week in CoderDojo Athenry, we continued to play with networking in Scratch.

As we learned last week, you can set up a Mesh network in Scratch so that Scratch programs running on two different computers can exchange information with each other. This week, we used those ideas in combination with our simple guessing game from Challenge 2, to create a 2-player network guessing game.

Since we have new members who have just joined us in the past week, they could focus on the one-player version while more experienced members could work on the networking aspect.

The big ideas behind this challenge were:

  1. Design of a 2-player game (need two programs with different roles and different code)
  2. Communications on the network using variables
  3. Broadcasts across the network
  4. Loops and Decisions: fundamental coding concepts

Here are my notes from the day (PDF format): CDA-S2-Challenge12-2Player-GuessingGame.pdf

Here are my versions of the game for both players:

  • GuessNumberNetwork: this is the one that plays the ‘guess a number game’ when the other one (the ‘boss’) chooses the number
  • GuessNumberNetwork-Boss: this is the one that allows you choose the number and then communicates with the other one that plays

Note that you must download these (they won’t run on the Scratch website) and enable Mesh networking as described in the notes for them to work.

If you would like a copy of my slides in PowerPoint format, get in touch via Twitter or the comments.

Intermediate Scratch – Challenge 11 – Learn About Networking

CDA-S2-Challenge11-NetworkChatThese are the notes from our first week of 2013 in CoderDojo Athenry.

This was a really exciting new challenge: to learn about how computers communicate with each other, and apply these ideas to setting up Meshing in Scratch so that Scratch programs running on two different computers can exchange information with each other.

The big ideas behind this challenge were:

  1. How networks work
  2. Communications between programs running on two different computers
  3. Variables (used for exchange of data).

We started to apply these ideas to build a multi-player, multi-computer chat game. We will extend this next week and move on to other networked games. Stay tuned!

Here are my notes from the day (PDF format): CDA-S2-Challenge11-NetworkChat

Here is my version of the chat program: http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/cdathenry/2591598 (note that you need a separate version for each person in the chat, and you have to have enabled Mesh networking as described in the notes.)

If you would like a copy of my slides in PowerPoint format, get in touch via Twitter or the comments.