Zara Expresses Her Artistic Side with Code!
Featured Maker Zara is 10 years old and lives in Scotland! She loves art, especially painting with watercolors and acrylic paint. Her favorite subject in school is literacy because, as she describes her writing process: “I just like all my ideas going on a piece of paper. I don’t like to have a limit, I just like to write more and more and more. I have this book and I like to write stories, like about the person and what their hobbies are.” When she grows up, Zara would like to be an artist, teacher, or a coder–all career options that her current hobbies are preparing her for! We got the chance to talk more with Zara and her mom, Gaya, about Zara’s creativity and how she uses code as an expressive medium.
How did you get introduced to Tynker? Last year all the P5s were learning how to code and use Tynker. And our teachers gave us free time to just go onto Tynker and everyone was loving it.
Do you have any favorite courses or tutorials? I quite like the art tutorials. I’ve made a lot of the spinning drawing things. Except instead of using the spinning balls I make my own.
How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? I knew how to code before, but I didn’t do it very often. I went to the National Museum of Scotland. It’s a really awesome museum. They had this fair going on. They had a robot you could program, and it was really fun, and I asked my parents if I could code after that, but we didn’t know any coding apps. Then my teacher introduced me to Tynker, and I do Tynker at home as well as at school.
What’s your favorite project? “Dress Her Up.” I find it fun to play with and try on different clothes. It’s not too hard of code but it’s not that easy. I quite like just dressing up things.
How did you get inspiration for your project? I went onto Community. One of the first projects I saw was a “Dress Her Up” and I thought, “This is super fun, I’m going to do this.” I made it with a different background.
“Dress Her Up”
How long did it take you to make? I think about 3-4 days because our teacher, the maximum they gave us was 45 minutes on Tynker, and we didn’t do it everyday.
In general, where do you get inspiration for your projects? A lot of the time it’s from Community. But sometimes I look around the classroom and I just get ideas. One time after my guitar lesson I decided to make a music project and it turned out quite cool.
Why do you like to code? Coding is very interesting and it’s really fun to do. And if you code well, then it turns out pretty impressive, and you’re just proud of yourself. Others can be proud of you and you can be proud of others, too.
What do you with a project when you’re done with it? When I’m done with it, I think about it, and think if I can improve it. If it’s not ready to be put on Community, I just leave it to be proud of. If we get time to go on Tynker another day, I might go back to it, and see what I can improve, otherwise I just publish it.
What are you planning to make next? I was thinking of making a race track, and then a car, and then you have to drive around the car.
What’s your favorite thing about Tynker? I really like how you get to [use] tutorials and I really like that you can make your own projects. You get to draw, you can take your own screenshot and put it onto Tynker. There’s a lot of things that you can use to make your projects better. And I just really love the fact that you can put whatever you want.
How do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future? It’s a great skill that you can learn. And you might need it for a lot of things. For example, computer programming, or, just anything to do with devices. It doesn’t even have to be devices, it can be anything. Maybe if I become a teacher I can teach code.
Do you think other kids should try coding? Yes. It’s a great opportunity for all kids, and it’s just a great skill to have, even if you might not need it later on.
What advice would you give to kids who are starting out with Tynker? Try some tutorials and then start actually coding. Or maybe get some ideas from Community. Or start off with a bit easier projects, then get into more difficult projects.
We spoke with Zara’s mom, Gaya, to get her perspective on Zara’s coding experience. When we asked Gaya how she feels about Zara learning to code, she told us, “I feel like it does help her. She’s very artistic and creative, so she likes dressing up all her Barbies. For her it came naturally to see how she can do it herself. She’s been using other programs where everything is already made, whereas here, she had to learn how to code. She has been extremely excited. Her dad is in computer science; he’s a lecturer at the local university. Zara’s been going to some of his lectures. That’s maybe another reason why Zara likes it.” Gaya feels like learning to code and expressing creativity can go hand in hand: “We organize art club here on Fridays; they do artistic, creative stuff, and Tynker is one of the things they discuss as well.”
Gaya told us about some of the benefits she sees that Zara gets from learning to code: “[It] develop[s] her logic, probably, thinking in advance, decision-making process. And [helps her become] result-oriented and result-driven as well: If I do this, this will come out of it. To develop her skills and not to stop, ok I did one coding and that’s enough. To develop her curiosity as well. Essential kind of things. Curiosity. Moving forward and learning step-by-step, I think it’s really great…Creativity, creative mind, logic.”
Thanks so much, Gaya and Zara, for interviewing with us! We’ll keep an eye out for that race track project, Zara! Happy coding!