Oskar Competes with Code!
Featured Maker Oskar is eight years old, and some of his favorite hobbies are playing Tynker, playing soccer (he’s currently on a soccer team), and jumping on the trampoline. He’s got lots of favorite school subjects; he can’t pick just one. A fun fact about Oskar: He’s half Swedish, speaks Swedish, and gets to go to Sweden to see family! We got to talk with Oskar and his dad Andreas about Oskar’s passion for coding.
Do you have an idea of what you want to be when you grow up? Someone who does coding with robots and space, and a football star! When we asked what Oskar would like to program robots to do, he said, “Make coffee in the morning.”
How did you get introduced to Tynker and how long have you been coding? My dad found Tynker and told me about it.
How did you learn how to use Tynker when you were first starting out? I just started doing courses, and the courses led me through, then I started doing more complicated ones, until I finally learned how to make my own projects.
What are your favorite Tynker courses or tutorials? Mythicraft!
How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? They improved really much! Since now I’ve made mini computer games. When I did start Tynker it was pretty easy because it was just like the courses like, move forward like three times or something.
What is your favorite project you’ve made so far? What do you like about it? I like all of them. I wish I could push “like” on them myself.
Where did you get the idea for “Frogga”? I only made it because I wanted to see if I could make a better game than [my dad] could because he did this course where you had to make one. You have this turtle guy who jumped up and bounced around.
Can you tell us about one of your other projects? Well, the one about the soccer players, one represented this real-life soccer player [Zlatan Ibrahimović] when he was on one team, and the other player represented when he was on a different team. I’m wearing his [jersey] now. You’re meant to press this guy who does the evil laugh and then you’re meant to press the other guy as soon as he’s finished, and then he’ll do a guy scream, and then you’ll hear a punching sound and the guy who laughed will go flying, and then there’s going to be a laser sound and the other guy’s going to go flying away. But then there’s going to be a flame that goes on his foot, and if you press it, it makes a sound. There’s a little ball in the middle and if you press it, it makes a siren sound.
“Zlatan Ibrahimović war”
Why do you like to code? So I can make animations, it’s fun, I enjoy it! And I want to make robots when I’m older, so that could help a bit. I used to be a horrible drawer on the iPad; by hand I’m a bit better, but drawing in the iPad is fun. On the iPad, you’ve got the thing where you can draw an outline and color in the whole space.
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? I tend to leave it, but sometimes there’s something I want to change. Like with some video games that I coded, I didn’t realize there were bugs in it.
What are you planning to make next? I dunno, I just get ideas and then I make them. I think I might recreate chess in Tynker.
What’s the best thing about Tynker? You can make all your own projects and see other people’s. You can make your own things.
What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker? Have their parents help them a bit. Basically I’ve been teaching [my friend] it because he’s been researching my projects and looking at the code. He said he saw many other copies of the Frogga game. That must be why I’ve got 18 remixes or something.
When we asked Andreas, Oskar’s dad, how he felt about Oskar learning to code, he told us: “His mom and I, we’re very proud, we just see how much he’s learning. Problem-solving, all that sort of stuff. It’s amazing, the things he kind of stumbles upon, accidentally learns. He’s learned about angles, degree of angles, x and y coordinates and things like that, and they haven’t really reached that point yet in school. It’s just amazing. We’re very happy about that.”
Coding in Tynker has been a way for Oskar to express himself creatively, as well: “He loves to draw, so there’s that creative side of him. There’s an outlet for that in Tynker too. If you are spending time in front of the screen, it’s something very positive that he’s learning from.”
We agree with Andreas’s ideas of how learning to code may help Oskar in the future: “Everyone’s a little bit worried about preparing their kids for the future. Learning to code feels important. Seeing the young guys come in where I work, they’re very good, and it’s such an asset for working life.” And Andreas is excited about all the options Tynker offers kids: “There’s so many different courses and levels of difficulty.”
Thanks, Oskar and Andreas, for interviewing with us! We loved hearing how coding is a way for you to express your interests and creativity, Oskar; we’ll watch for that chess game and other cool projects!