Our new blog is located on Medium: https://medium.com/thecodematrix
We are posting articles about our summer programs and inviting some pretty awesome people to write as well! Our Code + Infinity Project is also going to be launched on our Medium site. Follow us to be among the first to read articles about technology and its intersection with other fields such as the humanities. Our upcoming articles include Code + Law, Code + Movies, and Code + Space.
Thank you and we hope to see you on the flip side!
- the TCMX Media Team
Awesome. The dictionary defines it as something extremely impressive or daunting. At theCodeMatrix, we define awesome as inspiring. We use it to describe those moments where a club member has their first "Aha!" moment or when a kid creates a bond with their team.
We got to experience one of those awesome moments when we were selected to receive a grant from the Awesome Foundation SJ. This grant is our first, and a foundation for us to launch our programs this summer. More than the grant itself, the most awesome part is getting the opportunity to network with the trustees of the Awesome Foundation SJ and learning more about amazing initiatives around our community.
With the support we received from the Awesome Foundation, we hope to make "San Jose awesome one student and line of code at a time!"
Thank you to the Awesome Foundation SJ for the grant! It was really awesome to meet the team, and we are looking forward to launching our programs this summer with your support.
Shoutout to the club officers for all your work! Let's #RedefineAwesome
After 15 amazingly creative club meetings, the final day was finally here! All the club members were prepped to present their projects - static webpages!
Each club member got a couple minutes to show off their amazing creation to all the parents in attendance. The confidence and communication skills of the kids was stellar, and we could really see that they were excited to showcase what they worked on. Then, the club officers gave speeches about their experiences with leading their teams, helping kids out with problems, and how they felt about their summer overall.
Finally, it was time for food! Shoutout to all the parents who brought food to our delicious potluck! The club members, officers, and parents got an opportunity to bond over snacks and even discuss the future of theCodeMatrix.
After snapshots to capture awesome memories (which can be found in media), it was time for awards. Savi and Spoorthi presented the Youtube team awards to the most enthusiastic coders, Krish and Tina! Esha presented Website team award to the most organized coders to Kaavya and Khang.
Sahana presented the Culture team award to the most spirited coders to Santhosh and Kartik. Arshia presented the Technical team award to the most creative coders, Junhyoung and Anika!
Finally, it was time for the most anticipated awards - the top three teams! In third place was team 5 who were lead by Esha and Spoorthi! The Fantastic Five are Azin, Zainab, Manreev, Mihir, and David. In second place was team 2 who were lead by Sahana! The Champions are Kaavya, Santhosh, Kartik, Jadrian, and Weston. In first place...drumroll please. Team 3 lead by Saathvik! The CodeMasters are Vibha, Isha, Krish, Driti, and Huy.
The final club meeting was a great way to close the first event of theCodeMatrix. We would like to thank everyone who made our first summer a success. Shoutout to Sridhar Chatradhi, our adult mentor, Mr. Randall Studstill, the volunteer coordinator at the Village Square Library, and the parents of the Club Officers who are so supportive. Also, a huge shoutout to all the parents of the club members who showed so much support and expressed so much interest in theCodeMatrix.
We will come back soon with information on our upcoming programs in September.
Until then, it’s time to jump into the matrix!
- the Club Officer team
By Aditi Chatradhi, President, and the Website Team
After the hype and excitement of Robot Day, our club members were ready to embark on a new adventure...HTML and CSS! The next project at hand was to design and create a static webpage on any topic. Once we covered some basics of HTML and CSS, prominent web development languages, the young coders were all ready to go!
On Day 9, the club members learned some basic terms and did a mini challenge. After learning that HTML stands of HyperText Markup Language and that CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheet, they got to check out the autocomplete feature on the text-editor we used called Atom, created by GitHub. Then they picked up on what commenting is, the differences between headers and headings, and what an element consists of. Then, they started coding by learning some basic tags to add headings and text. After playing around with these elements, the club members were given the Hello World challenge where they had to make their web browsers print the words “Hello World!” in big letters.
At the end of the club meeting, a storm rushed in...a brainstorm! The club members got their creative juices flowing as they chose what topic to create a webpage about for their project. There were a lot of creative and fun ideas ranging from world class soccer plays to Minecraft resource packs to even some Club Officers.
On Day 10, the club members were introduced to a container tag they can use to organize their code called “div.” Then on Day 11, they began adding to and organizing their code of their official projects.
Day 11 was Superhero Day! Everyone came dressed as their favorite superhero or as their real-life role model. We watched a video about real-life superheroes that work really hard to make a difference in their communities. Everyone shared what they could do to become real-life superheroes for other people in their community, especially those in need.
This week was not only fun and filled with creativity, but also very impactful. We learned some basic coding and also ways that we can use code and technology overall to improve our communities. Thank you to everyone who came out to this week’s club meetings with so much energy. It was truly Super!
By Shreya Balusu, Secretary
First off, thank you to all the students that came to Robot Day, decked out in purple and orange gear for their teams, and were ready to compete!
To begin the exciting challenge, we divided both the orange and purple teams into three sub teams in order to make sure each person had a chance to help out, and create a code. The object of the code was to make a robot car move forward, backward, to turn right, then left, and finally forward once again, while the LED lights flashed colors. Students used cut up Scratch commands in order to rearrange the blocks and write code that fit the requirements of the challenge.
During this part of Robot Day, all the club officers were so pleased to see that every team was working together to make decisions and come up with solutions. After the teams were finished our club president, Aditi, plugged each of the codes into the computer, and awarded points to the teams based on whether their code was deployable. After adding up the points for the challenge, we found out that the orange team was in the lead! Next, we had both of the teams use a remote control to move a robotic car, and pick up trash. After they picked up a piece of trash, they had to move it to their designated team scoring area. Though the purple team was victorious in this challenge, it was not even points to boost them above the orange team.
When the kids gathered again on Tuesday, we finally were able to put their Scratch codes to the test! Aditi condensed all three codes for each team into one better working code per team. When the kids tested their codes, the very first try, the orange team was able to complete all requirements, and though the car did end up going slanted at the end, they still received points for being able to complete the challenge. However, on the first try, the purple team was not able able to execute the tasks, but on the second try, their code did complete the challenge.
At the end of our exciting Robot Day challenge, the orange team was victorious! Both teams performed outstandingly, and many club members stepped up and showed amazing leadership and teamwork skills. All the the club officers were extremely impressed and proud of the kids.
If you are looking for topics for your Scratch project, you are in the right place!
- A penguin has to get a fish in the ocean while avoiding the seal
- A mouse has to get to the cheese while avoiding the cat
- Make a cat race another sprite (This could be a 2 player game or racing against the computer)
- A maze where the dot gets sent back to the beginning if it hits a wall
- A musical instrument that you can play by pressing computer keys
- Catch the objects falling from the sky, one type of object gives you penalty points
- Make a sprite collect coins
- Make a cat chase a mouse
- Make a mouse run away from a cat
- When the score reaches 10, the scene (background) changes.
- Whenever you press the B key, the sprite gets a little bigger. Whenever you press the S key, the sprite gets a little smaller.
- When the sprite touches something blue, it plays a high note. When the sprite touches something red, it plays a low note.
- A sprite dresses up for a costume party
- “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” A caterpillar eats a bunch of food in a maze to get to the green leaf
- A race car has to go to the finish line while avoiding the cones
- A superhero flies over a city
- Make an interactive Christmas tree
- Make a cat talk to another cat
- Make a sprite draw designs
- Whenever the sprite hears a loud sound, it changes color.
- Whenever the cat sprite gets near the dog sprite, the cat turns and runs away from the dog.
- Whenever you click on a sprite, all other sprites do a dance.
- A penguin dancing on ice and then other penguins join in
- A dog on a walk
- A sprite eating food
- A caterpillar eats leaves, becomes a pupa, then becomes a butterfly
- A fish tank with a fish swimming around and various bubbles floating behind the fish
- An extraterrestrial planet with extraterrestrial life
- A self-driving car that goes around obstacles and goes to stop at a parking spot
- A flower that grows when there is water poured on it
As you embark on your mission, don't forget to use your creativity and remember that your only limit is your imagination!
by Savinay Chandrupatla, VP of Design, and the Website Team
This past week theCodeMatrix strived to provide three club meetings of abundant learning to our coding warriors. On Day 4, everyone came in with huge smiles, ready to learn, and as a club officer, that is very motivating. During the course of day 4, we introduced a new friendly software tool developed by MIT with the name of Scratch, that also runs on Blockly. Students were taught if-and-then statements, events, functions, and various commands. Overall, it was a very informative and learning based class. We were happy to see that every single kid in the room was very involved with the program.
On Day 5, we introduced a huge amount of fun, as we made the day Mission Impossible themed. A lot of club members came in decked out in their Mission Impossible outfits and earned spirit points. The club officers worked together to make a funny “trailer” which would introduce the students to the task at hand. At the end of the trailer the students had the option to pick their challenges which were either games or animations that the students had to do their first project on. The topic was short and provided only simple guidelines so that every student could use lots of creativity in their project. In order to complete the project, the students used the skills that they learned from Hour of Code and Day 4. On Day 6, the students continued working on their project and they were able to finish everything necessary in the club meeting to be able to present on Day 7. We are super happy to say that every club member successfully completed their project and presented them with finesse.
Club Officer team over and out
by Savinay Chandrupatla, VP of Design, and the Website Team
It was a very exciting week, not only for the students, but the club officers as well! A huge shout out to the students that came to all the meetings ready to learn and participate. We have organized the students into table groups and their groups will get points according to their behavior, listening, and participation. We wish that the kids have as much fun as possible with coding, but also respect the learning of their peers, so we inculcated a point based system to provide a source of intrinsic motivation for our students. So far, it’s coming along great! And maybe, just maybe (HINT HINT), the top three table groups with the most points will receive a surprise.
On Day 3, we used a fun programming software called the Hour of Code from Code.org, in which each student had the opportunity to program a Star Wars Droid to pick up the garbage around the Star Wars Galaxy. This program runs on Blockly, drag-and-drop coding and also text coding. This was a continuation of the activity on Day 2. On Day 3, however, most of the club members advanced to text coding. We set the stage by playing Star Wars music and also creating a monologue to put their challenge into perspective. This software was quite enjoyable and beneficial to the students as they were able to learn how movements could be performed and they were able to create games using coding commands. Also, some fundamental basics of coding were taught, especially two key components of syntax. They were taught that semicolons have to be used for the ends of commands and curly brackets must be used at the ends of functions. They were able to use this new information to their advantage in the next Blockly program.
Check out our Day 2-3 video in the Code Corner!
May the Force be with you.
- theClubOfficer team
by: Shreya Balusu, Secretary, and theWebsiteTeam
This past week, we held the first two club meetings of theCodeMatrix! First off, the club officers here at the theCodeMatrix would like to thank the parents and children, who showed such interest in our program and brought the kids out to the first few meetings. On Day 1, we started the kids off with a fun icebreaker activity, to really get to know each kid, and why they wanted to be here. Later, using multiple pictures of elephants, we explained how a computer needs to be programmed in order to identify a type of object despite changes in angle, size, color, or etc. Basically, we went over what computer science is, what it consists of, and what the endless possibilities of application are. Next, we introduced an activity called “Codebots and Programmers” which is inspired by Thinkersmith. In this activity club members wrote out a “code” or set of directions in order for their table’s robot to create a design out of stacked cups. The purpose of this activity was to teach the kids that the computer will follow exactly what you input, so you must be accurate. Also, they learned that being concise and using correct syntax will help the robot understand the code better. In addition we introduced a few very important vocabulary words for the kids to understand, including functions, parameters, bug, debugging, coding, and algorithm.
The Quote of the Day is a daily tradition that theCodeMatrix has where we start the club meeting by reading the quote and then end the meeting by explaining its relevance to the club meeting.
We closed off the successful first day with a Quote of the Day, this meeting’s being: “Each day learn something new, and just as important, relearn something old” by Robert Brault. We really wanted to reinforce to the kids that even though each day we will move on to a new topic, revisiting past one’s will help build a strong foundation for code.
As club officers, it was very encouraging to see that the kids were extremely passionate about solving the puzzle we had given them, and were working together as real teams to solve it.
Moving onto the second day, we introduced to the kids Blockly, a drag and drop method to code, to ease into more complicated text coding. With that, we entered the Hour of Code, and this meeting we had a Star Wars theme. We helped the kids build their own galaxy using Blockly, and they successfully completed the first six lessons. The kids worked very diligently, and in turn we had extra time to play a game to review the vocabulary words we learned the previous meeting. To close the day off, we discussed the meaning of our Star Wars Quote of the Day: “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can ever imagine”, said by Anakin Skywalker. This quote was chosen to really show to the kids that even if they do mess up and end up with a couple of bugs, rather than let it discourage them, it should only make them motivated to correct themselves and try to explore new methods of solving problems. After the first week of club meetings, we are very pleased with the hard work the kids put in each day, and are looking forward to more club meetings like this one in the future!
Check out our Day 1 video in the Code Corner!
May the Force Be With You
- theCodeMatrix team