Dip Your Toe In Code!

Dip Your Toe In Code!

  • Free 9-week course

  • Begins February 8th

  • Mon and Wed, 7-8 pm

  • Sessions are recorded

  • Open to grades 6-10

  • Requires math and reading skills!

Hi! I'm Bram Moreinis ("Mr. M")

I have taught web development, computer science, IT service learning and middle school computer applications for many years. I even taught BASIC in a middle school waaaay back in 1986 on TI 99 4/A's!

Last year, my students at a high school tech center did very interesting things, including helping me teach coding to middle schoolers through Dip Your Toe In Code (DYTIC), a JavaScript games mini-course we offered that was co-sponsored by 4-H.

For Springfield Lyceum Prep, I teach STEAM Electives in programming, computer science and IT service projects, drawn from:

START: The Baby Sister Pseudo-Language

We begin DYTIC with a scenario.

You have a 4-year-old baby sister. You are at school. Your sister is at home alone during lunchtime for some reason. She calls you on the phone because she is hungry and there is nothing to eat.

You decide to talk her through making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Easy for you, but hard for her! Because she has never even made toast before. She does not know where things are, or how to do things with her hands. She gets confused.

Your Task

You have to use very simple words, and get all the steps in the right order. She will do exactly as you tell her. If you make a mistake, she makes a mistake ... and with every mistake, she gets more and more frustrated and HANGRY. Eventually, the phone will be no use.

END: Simple JavaScript Games

We end DYTIC with JavaScript Coding.

Coders start from abstractions (like flowcharts), then code comments (to indicate what to put where). This video was recorded for students who had already completed our course in Burlington, Vermont.

Don't be worried if this sounds complicated!

These students were older (grade 8-10) and they already knew:

Sound like fun (even if hard)?

If coding sounds hard, well, it is hard. That's because you make over $100/hour when you get good at it.
Start learning now, when you're young and have a neuroplastic brain!

Sign Up Challenge Question

If I have too many people register, I'll pick from those who answer this correctly. You'll see it in Sign Up! If you've been paying attention in Math class, this should be easy.

At right is the American Sign Language hand signal for "I Love You". If you numbered your fingers ("digits", in Latin) from 1 (pinkie) to 5 (thumb), counting from the left, you could also say this was a sign for "1 , 4 , 5".

Add 1+4+5 and get 9. You could count up to 15 with one hand this way. 4 is allowed. 15 is Base 10 (Denary) for 10 + 5, or 1 * 10 to the 1st power + 5 * 10 to the 0th.

Computers don't have fingers. They count on wires in binary digits, or "bits", which are ON (1) or OFF (0). With 5 bits, a computer counts to 6 like this: 00001, 00010, 00011, 00100, 00101, 00110.

If we consider each finger a bit and count in Binary like computers do, then pinkie = 1, ring finger = 2, middle finger = 4. index finger = 8, and the thumb = 16. The fingers at right would represent this binary number: 11001, which means 16 (2 to the 4th power) + 8 (2 to the 3rd) + 1 (2 to the 0th), or 25.

The hand sign for "I Love You" can stand for 11001 this way. That Binary number converts to 25 in Denary. What Denary (Base 10) number would the hand sign for "Rock On" stand for? (Same as "I Love You", but thumb tucked).

Free Sample: FlowCharts

This video is a "teaser" for a class I taught for older (grades 8-10) students who were native English speakers in Burlington, Vermont. So I go a lot faster, with material that is a lot more complicated, than anything we will might start with.

However, it's interesting to see how thermostats work, and LucidChart is still a totally awesome program and worth exploring, and making system diagrams is great for your brain (and the planet, if you become an engineer). Check it out!