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CoderDojo Tucson Resources

As we've explored various technologies at CoderDojo Tucson, we've found some resources that have been very useful. Here are a few we'd like to share.

Programming Environments

Name URL Description What we like
Scratch Scratch is a block-based programming environment and community created by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology and supported by the Scratch Foundation. With Scratch, we can create music, interactive art, games, and animations. We can share our creations with others in the community and remix projects others have created.
Snap! Snap! is a programming environment created by the University of California at Berkeley. It is a block-based programming environment like Scratch but has a wide range of blocks for more advanced topics; like artificial intelligence, data analysis, image processing, machine learning, mapping, and natural language processing. Snap! is a great next step after learning the basics with Scratch.
Microsoft MakeCode With MakeCode, we can use code blocks that are much like Scratch or use JavaScript to program micro:bits, hand-held video games, or even robots. One great thing about MakeCode is that we can save projects to GitHub with just a click of a button.
Thunkable Thunkable is a block-based programming environment that lets us build mobile apps for Android and iOS in the browser. Thunkable is free for personal use and even works on Chromebooks!
replit Replit is a browser-based development environment that supports a wide range of languages, has a free tier for personal use, and runs great on Chromebooks. We've used replit for JavaScript game programming and Python programming. Replit is an easy way to experiment with a wide range of programming languages, from mainstream to obscure.
Visual Studio Code Visual Studio Code is a lightweight code editor from Microsoft with great extension support for many programming languages. We've used it for web development and Python programming. This website was programmed using Visual Studio Code!

Maker Resources

Name URL Description What we like
Tinkercad Tinkercad is a free web-based 3D modelling tool that makes it easy to create models to print with a 3D printer. You can even save models in commonly supported file formats for 3D printing (like .OBJ and .STL). Tinkercad has an intuitive what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) interface.
OpenSCAD Sometimes you just want to create a 3D model with code. OpenSCAD is an open-source 3D modelling language and programming environment that lets you design, preview, and save 3D model files for printing. The advantage of a tool like OpenSCAD is that you have exact control of every parameter and you can often specify dimensions more accurately and faster than with a graphical modelling tool like Tinkercad.

Learning Resources

Name URL Description What we like
CodeCombat CodeCombat is a fun way to learn programming in Python or JavaScript by moving through a dungeon, collecting treasure, and defeating monsters with code! While it is necessary to subscribe to unlock all the levels, there are many levels that can be completed for free.
G4C Intro to Game Design This is a great approach to getting started with your game design. This guide is one of the resources provided in support of the annual Games for Change Student Challenge.

CoderDojo Tucson is a dojo of the CoderDojo Foundation, which is part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.