Coolest Project Awards – Project “Uisce” Can you help?

Sean Gleeson has kindly registered the idea of the Water Usage Calculator that we hope to take to the Coolest Project Awards. To achieve this we will need a team of people working on this over the next three weeks to get it ready for the DCU meeting on the 7th June. Please consider volunteering, we need ninja’s to help design some animation, find sounds on the internet or record at home, find interesting facts about our water consumption and habits, and then we have to merge all this into an app! The question is will you help?


App Inventor – Super Scratch!

App Inventor is another MIT tool that extends the concept of the Scratch program but allowing us now to create and distribute the application onto Android Tables and Phones. What’s great is that you have access to all the functionality of these devices, an emulator to test your program and a much more feature rich programming environment, with the comfort of a scratch like IDE. Wow!

Have a look on the Session Material page for some information from the Athenry coderdojo on getting started with this tool!

How about trying to create your first games – this looks pretty straightforward…




Modding with Javascript

So we hear that some of you are keen on something called “Minecraft”, so we thought lets have a look at what you can do with it, and guess what, a fair bit it seems. And I don’t mean just building your own World – although that’s cool, but how being able to create your own Mods and including that in your World or even better sharing that so others can use what you have created?

Well the good news is that some of the other Dojo’s have been doing that and we will aim to take our first steps to do that in Dun Laoghaire, and learn some of the basics of a Programming Language called JavaScript.

We will start by following some of the instructions that Michael Maddon of CoderDojo Athenry has put together…

So now its over to you….


Donkey Kong Project

Here’s one of the Top Platform games of the 80’s from Nintendo. Your challenge is to work out how to build this game, or one like it.

There’s some great basic principles to master and over the next few weeks we will take a look at the basics and start to build up to getting a simple version of this working. You don’t need to copy it exactly, why not create your own platform game, but you need to show the mastery of how to code realistic movement, solve the problem of different levels and add some challenge to the game to make it entertaining for the player.

Working in groups of four will help you solve your problems as you move into the more complex parts and to help you get started we have a Base project with sprites only available on our Scratch MIT project page, and an outline available here DonkeyKongOutline and also from our resources page on our web site.

So good luck and lets see what we can create!

End of 2013 Challenge

Ok lets get Festive! On our last Wednesday of 2013 we have decided to let you get Festive and Creative! We would like you to create your very own Advent Calendar and surprise us with what you choose to base it on, what you put behind each door (even if its only one door) and how you go about making it all work!

We hope to see some:

  • Creative Thinking
  • Efficient Coding
  • Clever use of Graphics
  • Clever use of Audio

And Python’ers how about doing some text drawing with Python?

For all of you looking for inspiration here is a Scratch example – but I certainly won’t win any prizes for this!

So get thinking and see you on Wednesday!

Battleship Challenge

Ok, so we have done a few games and puzzles in Scratch. How about creating a game  we have not done before from the ground up – outlining it, designing it, prototyping it and then making it work?

Ever played Battleships a two player game where each opponent guesses the location of the other player’s ships? When you have hit all your opponent’s ships or your opponent has hit yours the game ends. There are different size ships and there’s sound effects to boot!



Its a simple game, surely we can do it in Scratch right!  – well lets think it through….

  • Its a two player game, and each player has a board
  • You have to guess where the players pieces are – you can’t see your opponents pieces and your opponent can’t see yours
  • You have to keep track of your moves and the score

So here’s some food for thought:

  • It’s a big game to put together, you won’t be able to do it in one session
  • you probably won’t be able to do it on your own – so how about doing it in a group?
  • What are the difficult bits to this?
  • How will I model the game?
  • What approach will best fit the requirements of the game
  • How will I see if my approach will work?

Lets see if we can work this up over the  next few weeks, maybe there’s a few groups that need to work together here to come to the final solution – including the Mentors!

CoderDojo Dun Laoghaire End of Term Wrap Up

We finished out the third block of sessions with something different, a Scratch coding challenge. Everyone had 45 minutes to code, from scratch, a countdown timer, counting down from 10s to zero. It had to do that and it had to work but you could make it look and work any way you liked – the challenge was to build something cool. At the end, the mentors went around and scored the programs but, more importantly, all the Dojo members gave votes to their favourites and the votes from both were combined.

We got some very good entries and the winners in the different categories were:

Group 1: Sean Healy
Group 2: Sophia Beitzel
Group 3: Conor Brennan
best name: Keelan Daye
funniest program: Ronan Greene
shortest program: Eric Kilmartin (4 lines!)
best visuals: Ruairi Greene
cleverest approach: Katie Olden

Well done to all the winners and everyone who created entries. We hope to do more coding challenges, in Scratch or other languages, in the future, we hope you had fun!. Maybe some team challenges next time!
Some of programs were quite similar, this first time, so keep it in mind for next time: all the group winners had something different and unique going on so…. the winning strategy is to do something really creative and original, to hoover up the votes!

Stay tuned to the website/group email list over the summer – we may have some one-off events, on different subjects – but we’ll hopefully be back properly in September.
Till then, keep coding – we’ll love to see what you built over summer.
Thanks for coming, from all in CoderDojo Dun Laoghaire!
(And special thanks from us to Sandra for making it all possible.)