Coding is fun! A lot of code is to be made if we want to get to walk on Mars, and you can do it. We will start by having some fun using Scratch to produce a simple videogame we will later play with it. Scratch is a block-based programming language. But wait, no commands are needed: just drag-and-drop some colorful blocks and you will intuitively build your game. You can share it for anyone to play!
- Computer or tablet
- Internet connection
- Learning to use Scratch
- Understanding the general flow of a program
- Navigating NASA’s repository of Mars pictures
- Getting familiar with rovers on Mars and Mars’ surface look
- Creating a game from the (S)cratch
1. Enter https://scratch.mit.edu.
2. Create an account (top right). Enter your account
3. Enter https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/755864305 with any device: computer, tablet or phone.
4. Click or tap on the full screen icon (top right) if you want to see it full screen. On tablets and phones, it is more convenient to use it horizontally.
5. Click on the green flag to start the game.
In this screen you may change the name of the game, go full screen (top right) or start or stop the game (green flag and red octagon on the top-left corner, respectively).
6. Read the instructions and play for a minute approximately until the music ends. Try to gather as many points as possible!
6. Instructions to play the game.
7. Click on “see inside”. You will see the code, which is made of color blocks.
8. Click on “File>Save as a copy” (top left).
8. Scratch code of the game.
9. Check on the folder on your top right corner. You will see a list of all of your projects, containing at least this one.
10. Click on it. Now you may change the title on top of the page.
11. No click on “see inside” to see the code again. Let us tweak it a little!
12. In the bottom right corner you will find the pictures of the two of the characters and the background. You may change them if you want it. Controls are intuitive.
13. Now click on one of the characters and see the list of color-block commands. They are written in human language, so you may easily understand what they do. Try to change some of the parameters: the duration of the game, the number of points to gain or lose, the song, etc.
14. On the left bar, all possible commands are listed. Will you add some new functions by dragging and dropping new blocks from the left menu to the central panel? Yes! You are programming now.
15. You can now save it and share it with friends (top of the page). Have a lot of fun playing your own game!
Download the instructions for this experiment in Spanish, French and Dutch
26 de agosto de 2022