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Adventures in Coding



Adventures in Coding

Eva Holland, Chris Minnick

ISBN: 978-1-119-23269-8 March 2016 320 Pages

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Learn to code the fun way with nine real projects for true beginners

Adventures in Coding is written specifically for young people who want to learn how to code, but don't know where to begin. No experience? No problem! This book starts from the very beginning to take you from newbie to app-builder in no time. You'll 'learn by doing' as you build projects designed to help you master fundamental programming skills—and you'll have a great time doing it. These skills form the foundation of any programmer's tool set, and you'll continue to use them as you graduate to other devices and more difficult projects. Each chapter includes a video to help clear up any confusion and make sure you really understand, so you can keep programming your way through every single project without hitting major roadblocks. If you're ready to start designing your own program, this book will help you get started today.

More and more kids are learning to code, and many schools offer basic programming classes as part of the regular curriculum. This book is structured like a class, starting with the basics and building skill upon skill, making it both a perfect accompaniment to formal instruction and an ideal guide for self-study.

  • Learn the basic programming skills you'll use everywhere
  • Build nine fun projects from super-basic to pretty challenging
  • Build the skills you need to create bigger and better apps
  • Watch video tutorials for extra help and explanations

How many times have you played with an app only to find yourself wishing it had this or that feature? If you learn how to code, you can be the creator of the next big app! But it all starts with that first small project. Adventures in Coding provides all the information you need, so let's get coding!

Introduction 1

What Is Scratch? 1

Who Should Read This Book? 1

What You Will Learn 1

How This Book Is Structured 2

What You Need to Use This Book 2

Conventions 2

Companion Website 3

Contact Us 3

Adventure 1

Scratching the Surface 5

Coding Is Everywhere 5

Speaking the Language of Machines 6

Knowing Your Coding Lingo 7

Writing Your First Scratch Program 8

Joining Scratch 8

Meeting Scratch the Cat 11

Moving Scratch Around 12

Connecting Blocks 13

Looping Movements 14

Starting at the Green Flag 16

Bouncing Off the Walls 17

Creating a Sprite 18

Handling Collisions on the Dance Floor 19

Slowing It Down 22

Learning the Scratch Environment 23

Exploring the Scratch Project Editor 24

The Toolbar 24

The Stage 31

The Sprite Pane 32

The Sprite Info Pane 33

The Scripts Area 33

The Block Palette 34

The Costume Pane 35

The Sound Pane 36

Working with Colors and Shapes in Scratch 37

Further Adventures in Coding 37

Adventure 2

Where in the World Is Scratch? 39

Setting the Stage 39

Interacting with the Stage 41

Customizing the Backdrop 42

Using a Picture Backdrop 46

Taking a Picture of the Stage 46

Understanding Coordinates on the Stage 47

Taking Center Stage 48

Moving Left, Right, Up, and Down 49

Knowing Your Directions 50

Working with Degrees of Rotation 51

Spinning Sprites 51

Moving a Sprite 54

Stepping 55

Gliding 55

Jumping 55

Creating Random Scratch Art 56

Randomizing Movements 56

Drawing Random Lines 58

Further Adventures in Coding 59

Adventure 3

Using Control Blocks 61

Understanding Code Nesting 61

Branching Programs in Scratch 64

The if ( ) then Block 64

The if ( ) then, else Block 65

Boolean Blocks 67

Making Comments in Scratch 69

Standalone Comments 69

Block Comments 71

Looping in Scratch 72

Looping Forever 72

Stopping Loops with the stop ( ) Block 72

Creating a Counting Loop 72

Looping Until a Condition Is Met 73

Waiting 74

Building the Fly Catcher Game 74

Setting the Stage 75

Placing the Frog 76

Adding the Hippo‐Fly 77

Scripting the Hippo‐Fly 78

Making the Tongue 78

Further Adventures in Coding 81

Adventure 4

Using Sensing Blocks 83

Learning the Sensing Blocks 83

Getting and Using Text Input 84

Detecting Key Presses 89

Watching for Mouse Moves 91

Using Timing 94

Sensing Touching and Distance 97

Building the Apple Patrol Game 102

Further Adventures in Coding 105

Adventure 5

Using Event Blocks 107

Understanding the Role of Events 107

Working with Key Press Events 109

Using Backdrop Change Events 114

Implementing Sensing and Timing Events 118

Detecting Video Motion 118

Measuring Loudness 118

Waiting for the Right Time 118

Getting Your Message Across 118

Putting on the Big Event 123

Setting the Stages 124

Programming the Ringleader 126

Programming the Ballerina Show 128

Programming the Dinosaur Show 130

Programming the Stage 131

Showing and Hiding Sprites 133

Further Adventures in Coding 136

Adventure 6

Variables and Lists 137

Understanding Variable Blocks 138

Variables Have Names 140

Variables Can Display on the Stage 142

Variables Can Change 144

Scratch Variables Are Persistent 146

Scratch Variables Are Big 147

Making Lists 148

Making a List 148

The Ultimate Party Host 151

Introducing the Lists and Variables 152

Asking for Names and Ages 152

Recalling Names and Ages 154

Further Adventures in Coding 158

Adventure 7

Using Operators in Scratch 159

Saying Hello to the Operators 159

Doing the Math 161

Addition 161

Subtraction 164

Multiplication 165

Division 166

Coding Logically 168

Operating on Text 170

Combining Text with join ( ) ( ) 170

Finding Letters 172

Getting Text Length 173

Understanding Other Operations 174

( ) mod ( ) 174

round ( ) 174

( ) of ( ) 175

Make a Math Practice Game 176

Programming Different Paths 177

Making the Addition Quiz 178

Making the Multiplication Quiz 181

Further Adventures in Coding 182

Adventure 8

Using Graphics and the Pen 185

Creating Art with the Paint Editor 185

Using Bitmap and Vector Graphics 189

Understanding the Bitmap Tools 189

Drawing with the Vector Tools 190

Making Slides 192

Use the Pen to Make a Skywriting Plane 198

Further Adventures in Coding 203

Adventure 9

Building Your Own Blocks 205

Making Your Own Blocks 205

Splitting Programs into Custom Blocks 206

Changing Custom Blocks 210

Borrowing Blocks with the Backpack 215

Putting on a Fashion Show 217

Further Adventures in Coding 222

Adventure 10

Making and Using Sounds and Music 223

Using Sounds 223

The Sound Library 224

Using the Sound Editor 227

Editing Sounds 228

Recording Sounds 229

Importing Sounds 231

Forming the Scratch Jazz Band 232

Tuning Up Your Instruments 232

Finding a Drummer 233

Playing the Melody 234

Playing Together 237

Singing Along! 240

Further Adventures in Coding 242

Adventure 11

Exploring the Scratch Universe 243

Visiting 243

Sharing Your Projects 245

The Scratch Community Rules 249

Remixing Projects 252

Interfacing with the Real World 253

Understanding Electricity 255

Understanding Makey Makey 256

Understanding Conductivity 257

Sensing with the PicoBoard 259

Further Adventures in Coding 261

Appendix A

Installing the Scratch Offline Editor 263

Installing the Scratch Offline Editor on Windows 263

Installing the Scratch Offline Editor to Your Mac Operating System 268

Other Resources 275

Appendix B

Testing Your Programs 277

Practice Proper Planning 277

Ask Other People to Test 278

Look for Possible Invalid Input 279

Use Comments Often 280

Test Early and Often 280

Keep Track of Tests and What Breaks Things 280

Use Custom Blocks 281

Use Sliders for Numbers 281

Keep Learning 282

Keep Practicing 283

Glossary 285

Index 289

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