Have a Very NASA Hour of Code with Tynker
This year marks an amazing year for Tynker. Back in the spring of 2019, we collaborated with NASA to offer coding challenges to students from beginner to advanced levels. We held design contests that allowed students to dream big about space, the Moon 2 Mars NASA missions, and how computer science plays a big part in that. Today, we just released the third entry into our NASA Moon 2 Mars projects, utilizing Tynker’s new Level Editor.
Check out the winners of this spring’s first NASA / Tynker project:
How Do We Use The Level Editor?
Our latest NASA projects show off the abilities of our new Level Editor, which allows students to quickly and easily create landscapes, backgrounds, characters, and props for your Tynker projects. Some elements come pre-coded, but everything is editable. Tynker has always been known for its efficiency; students can create in seconds using the Level Editor! Here’s what a sample NASA project looks like, Lunar Test Drive, completed using the Level Editor:
Enable the Level Editor:
To enable the new Level Editor in a blank project- you can start with a blank project here, then add the Platform or Top-Down extension in the lower left-hand corner of the Tynker Workshop:
Start with a Background!
For the NASA projects, students will be given several themed backgrounds to choose from, many like the moon. In the Level Editor, they can simply click to change!
Paint with Your Mouse!
The Level Editor has always been available for quick project creation. In literally seconds- students can start building 2.5D elements right in their browser. For this project, Lunar Test Drive, we’re building our Lunar Base with many colorful choices:
Add Props, Pre-built Modules, Landscape Elements, and More!
We’ve set students up to create some amazingly creative landscapes. With these elements added, students are almost ready to start coding….
Let’s Code It!
Now it’s time to make your Actors, Props, and Rover (if you’re doing Lunar Test Drive) move and interact. Let’s code them! Read the instructions in your tutorials; they are extremely helpful.
Try All the NASA Projects:
We created 4 projects for this Hour of Code, but also are opening up our NASA projects from earlier in the year. The teacher guide offers lesson plans and NASA student resources for all four Lunar Habitat and Rover Exploration projects below. Check out:
Lunar Test Drive
In this tutorial, students will design a lunar landscape. Then they’ll need to navigate their rover to a destination using movement commands. Students are provided a tutorial to help guide their creative process as they complete the project.
Search and Scan
In this coding adventure, students will code their own challenge for a virtual rover that will search for samples on the moon’s surface. Once again, students are provided a tutorial to help guide their creative process as they complete the project.
Students will need to program multiple rovers to work together to complete a task. The provided example shows rovers scanning and collecting ice samples, but students are encouraged to design their own lunar rover challenge.
Build a Lunar Habitat
This open-ended prompt has students use Tynker’s Level Editor to create a lunar habitat. When they’ve completed the tutorial, encourage students to get creative and add code to make it interactive. Students are provided a tutorial to help guide their creative process as they complete the project.
Learn More About NASA’s Moon 2 Mars Missions:
NASA has provided some amazing research for students who wish to dig deeper into their new mission. We’ve curated several NASA pages, including photos, backstory, and strategy about Orion, Artemis, and all the current news from NASA. Click below to go to those resources.
Make it a Community Effort with Flipgrid!
This year, we’ve enhanced our Hour of Code projects with side-by-side Flipgrid topics. They’ve been added to our Flipgrid Disco Library just in time for the Hour of Code! You and your students will be able to:
- Reflect on each of our Hour of Code projects
- Create warm-ups and enhance student ideas around NASA missions
- Build a community of learners that are empowered to share their voice with the world
It’s More than the Hour of Code
Coding empowers makers, and by collaborating with NASA, we’re empowering students and teachers to make Computer Science not just one hour, but a lifelong activity.
Tynker is the best place to start. We offer three free courses, weekly projects, and a great workshop that will allow students to continue their NASA journey. There are STEM lessons that let students create with code in CORE subject areas (Science, ELA, Social Studies, and Math), and they can use the Tynker workshop to design solutions.
Teachers can add as many classes and students as they want, and it gives you the most diverse set of content you will find. It only takes a few minutes to get started! Click below to explore everything Tynker offers!