February 7, 2018 | By

LogMeIn CoderDojo Student Wins BPS Tech “Game Design Challenge”

LogMeIn and the Mission Possible team would like to congratulate Creighton B., 6th grader at Lyndon Pilot School in West Roxbury, for winning the Boston Public School Tech “Game Design Challenge” for grades 6-8.

Creighton started CoderDojo sessions, a programming club for young people, at Microsoft NERD in 2014 . He started with Scratch, MIT’s programming language, and then moved to Python, a high-level programming language. Since attending CoderDojo sessions at LogMeIn, Creighton advanced quickly by learning both Javascript and HTML. We recently sat down with Creighton and his father and asked them about the big win, how LogMeIn’s Dojo helped Creighton create his winning game and what they think of CoderDojo.

Amy: Congrats on winning the BPS Tech “Game Design Challenge”, Creighton! Tell us about your game and the process of designing it.

Creighton: The game I created is an interactive, web-based Hangman game. It randomly selects words to guess from a list and the follows basic rules of Hangman. I first created a Hangman game using Python, so I knew the game logic necessary to choose words, have the player guess letters, and check if the guess was correct or not. At CoderDojo, I began learning Javascript and HTML. I decided to try to make a hangman game with Javascript but needed a project to learn a new coding language.

Amy: How did attending CoderDojo sessions at LogMeIn help you prepare for your project?

Creighton: The CoderDojo mentors were a big help. They listened to my plan and understood what I was trying to do. They showed me the Javascript commands that I needed to use and also showed me how to use Chrome developer tools to debug and fix errors. They even showed me how to find Javascript tools through Google searches if I got stuck.

Amy: What is your favorite part about coding and CoderDojo?

Creighton: My favorite thing about coding is having a vision in my mind that I can then create on the computer. I like working with CoderDojo mentors because their experience helps me accomplish my vision.

Amy: Do you have any advice for your schoolmates who are interested in getting into coding?

Creighton: I would tell classmates to think about what you want to do before you start coding. You have to plan out the logic before you start learning the syntax. Also, don’t aim too big—start slow. If you try something that’s too complicated while you’re still learning how to do things, the whole thing will fail.

Amy: Would you recommend that they learn to code and why?

Creighton: I would recommend coding because it suits all interests. For example, if you like sports, you can make a sports blog. Or if you like to read, then you could create a book app. Coding crosses over to any kind of interest.

Amy: What do you want to be when you grow up? How do you think coding will help you in the future, even if you don’t want to grow up to be an engineer or developer?

Creighton: I’d like to be a Math teacher for 6th grade and an author writing fantasy and SciFi books. Coding helps for any job because you can incorporate it into any interest. It allows you to specifically modify computers to suit your own needs.

Amy: Dad, what has it been like seeing Creighton’s progress at CoderDojo?

Creighton’s Dad: It’s been a lot of fun. My only experience with coding dates back to learning AppleBasic back in the early 1980’s. I started out learning Python with Creighton, so I could answer any questions that he might have. It wasn’t long before I had to rely on him for answers. Eventually, CoderDojo shifted focus to JavaScript. Creighton adapted well to the new language, but I now can’t keep up with him.

Amy: How does CoderDojo supplement the STEM education provided by the school system?

Creighton’s Dad: While I’m happy with the STEM education provided at Creighton’s school, his experience at CoderDojo has helped him outpace the level of his classmates at school. His school had a STEM week which focused on SCRATCH. Creighton had the opportunity to help his classmates, which actually turned out to be a good experience helping others.

Creighton’s Hangman game is online for anyone interested in taking a look!

LogMeIn’s upcoming Winter CoderDojo sessions are kicking off this weekend and will be held at the following dates and times:

  • Saturday, 2/10 from 1-2:30pm
  • Saturday, 2/24 from 1-2:30pm
  • Saturday, 3/10 from 1-2:30pm
  • Saturday, 3/24 from 1-2:30pm

To sign up for an upcoming session, click here. Come, code and let’s innovate!

Explore our other Mission Possible or Recent Posts.