We were recently sent a copy of the book Star Wars Coding Projects by DK Books for review. You use Scratch online with the book to create your projects.
I actually did a course a year or so ago with my sons’ old primary school to learn how to use Scratch as a parent to help understand how it all worked as the boys used it at school.
I love that primary schools in the UK are teaching things like this now, as it really is fascinating how coding works. It seems slightly mad to me really, but it is so clever and great that the boys and I can use code to create things and even to make games and more.
The book from DK is building on the use of Scratch and bringing in the fun element of Star Wars characters. The boys and I all LOVE Star Wars and I have done since I was a child, so really this book was perfect for us to try out. The book shows some of the basics of Scratch as well as the more advanced bits and it’s really easy to follow, so it won’t matter if it is the first time you’ve ever tried Scratch.
If you haven’t heard of Scratch before, it basically is designing and controlling things with code. Scratch makes it easier for children and adults to grasp how coding works and have fun playing around with it themselves.
You can see above some of the examples of codes that you can use. Each code changes the way an object moves, reacts and more. You can change backgrounds, characters (sprites) and add all sorts of fun things to your creation.
Even if like us you have Scratch before, the chances are that you will learn something new from this book. I naively expected there to instantly be Star Wars characters available to use on Scratch, but there aren’t. Which makes it more of a fun challenge.
You need to create them yourself either by drawing them (easier than it sounds I promise as you work in pixels) or by adding an image of your own.
The image can literally be anything, you can even add your own face to it if you really wanted! Since the book is all about Star Wars we stuck to a Star Wars character. We added C3PO by removing poor RTD2 using the tools at the side – there’s an eraser or a tool to highlight the parts of the picture that you want to keep.
Hopefully you will be more steady handed than my 11-year-old who was a bit wobbly, although more accurate than I was ha! He managed using the book to create his own game where he was the cat below and he was trying to avoid the ball which he had coded to bounce all over the place.
He also coded the other characters to move around getting in the way and the ball to make a different noise when it hit each individual character.
The book really did make it so easy to do and I think I actually learned more in the last week of coding for fun with my son than I did on the course I did. Apologies if by some random chance the teacher is reading this, it’s not you, it’s just this book is ace! There are lots more things in the book to do as well, a few that we’re still working on!
If you have children like mine that love to know how things work and enjoy all the techy stuff, then this book is definitely worth buying!