Dear Ask Ada,
So at my old school, we handed out valentines, right? But now we can’t because it’s covid… but I still wanna show my friends that I care. How do I continue to do it?
Dear Empty Valentine,
First, it’s sweet that you like to give out valentines, and the people around you are fortunate to have a great friend like you. I know that Valentine’s Day is technically in the past by the time you read this, but we can all use some love every day of the year! I have a few tips here that might help you out;
Greetings everyone. As some of us know, coding can be an important part of your life. After all, every app you use, and even the article you are reading right now, is made of code. And right now, in the midst of a pandemic, coding is even more essential than usual. Everyone is using electronic devices. There are a couple of good spots to start with coding, however, in my opinion the easiest would probably be Scratch.
Scratch is a visual based coding platform that was created in 2007. As soon as people first start using Scratch, they notice two things: A stage, where all the action will happen, and a canvas, where you can place all of the blocks. You can find blocks in a sidebar, where they are all color coded based on their function. Different blocks often work differently; however, the most common block is the input block. You can find it in most categories; it appears as a regular block with input values, where you can place inputs. One of the most recognized of these blocks is the wait (input) seconds block (Default value is 1) Besides input blocks, there are still many others such as Booleans, control events, and much more. There are even lists, and variables, and the not-very-well-known MyBlocks, which allows you to create your own blocks. You will learn all of this when you start coding in scratch. Scratch can also often be the first step in coding, and is used as a stepping stone into more advanced programming languages, such as Python, Java, C++, and many more. If you want to start learning, join Scratch Club!
Before I go any further, let me introduce myself to you. I am a Chinese-American Sixth grader named Benson Liu. My pronouns are he and him. I started Scratch club a few weeks ago, and this is the last week of development and planning before it’s going to be released to the public. Hopefully then, if you are interested and curious about coding, like I once was, you’ll be able to find this club in the midst of the dozens of other clubs out there. If you find us, lucky you! Hopefully, you will be able to join our ranks, where we will teach you all about coding in Scratch, and then you will be able to go down the path of a master coder, a website creator, and even a game developer. I wish you good fortune if it comes to this.
I, personally, have had a not-too-long, yet interesting history with scratch. It all started with scratch in 4th grade. After that year, I was a bit more proficient at scratch. Then we had scratch again for 5 grade. Then, I decided, over the summer to take some scratch curriculums, namely, from Robotics For All. Currently I’m on my second scratch curriculum BPL Scratch, which is an advanced curriculum. I’ve had my moments, with scratch, and although I’ll admit it's sometimes frustrating, it’s also a place to cultivate creativity, and to learn from your mistakes. I, in fact, would have probably made hundreds of mistakes in Scratch, and I learned from them. Hopefully, if you ever get frustrated at Scratch, you can do the same. Well, with nothing else left to say… Peace out!
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