Summer School 2016 Report #5: Early-elementary students can make games with the visual programming language, “Viscuit”
In this post, we’ll be reporting on early-elementary students using “Viscuit.”
What’s Viscuit? It’s a visual programming language that allows you to make games or animations by assigning movements to “parts” that you draw yourself. ?Since this doesn’t require typing, it’s great for lower elementary students. Even preschoolers using computers for the first time have enjoyed making things with Viscuit at a previous TECH PARK trial experience.
We first had the kids try out Viscuit’s basic functions, then put together a “worksheet” of plans. They wrote out ideas a game or animation, along with the parts they would need and movements to to assign them. Once finished planning, they could open up their computers again to start creating.
With that, let’s take a look at the kids at work!
First, we learned Viscuit’s basic functions.
Seriously engaged in his work.
We got used to the program by adding our own parts to samples. Next, we planned out what to create on worksheets.
"Hmm, what should I make..."
Try to come up with lots of ideas!
Some kids thought, “Ah, I have a good idea!” and got straight to work.
Time for a quick snack break!?Using your brain makes you hungry, doesn’t it?
After the break, it’s time to refer to our worksheets to start building these games!
Looks like he’s making good progress!
Make sure to help teach your friends!
Let’s focus and get this game finished.
We asked kids to explain their finished games. This one's a shooting game where you destroy UFOs with a cannon.
Looks like he’s made a festival-themed animation with fireworks and booths lined up.
When kids learn to use the tools, they can start giving shape to their ideas and imagination. They just think of something, draw it, assign it a movement, then repeat to make complete works.
Even when things don’t work quite right or you make a mistake, you can always try again at TECH PARK. Make small improvements each time, work at your own pace, and keep going until you’ve built?something you can be satisfied with. ?
Some children watched and played with their friends’ games, then incorporated ideas to improve their own. ?Others were excited to get home and show their creations to mom and dad.
Bringing ideas to life provides a pure, simple joy that leads to greater confidence. I think the children were able to experience this firsthand through this activity.