Alex Loves to Code Projects Featuring Animals!
Meet 9-year-old Featured Maker Alex from Arkansas who loves everything about nature and animals! Alex is incredibly passionate about working with animals – when we asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, Alex immediately answered that he has “a lot of ideas, like a zoo-keeper, wildlife researcher, or veterinarian.”
Alex’s enthusiasm is not limited to just animals – it also extends to creating with code. Alex uses Tynker as an outlet for his creativity, giving life to projects that represent what an animal’s life may be like. This is a very artistic way to use Tynker! We chatted with Alex to find out more about his projects and inspiration!
What do you like to do outside of school? I like to code, build with LEGOs, design mods, and study animals.
What’s your favorite subject in school? All of them, because I think learning is fun!
How did you learn to use Tynker when you were first starting out? I still don’t know what some of the blocks mean, but there’s a feature on the app and website that tells you what the block is for. I used that to learn how to use Tynker. And I learned from watching my older brother!
How did you get introduced to coding? My older brother got me interested in it. I have been coding about a year.
Why do you like to code? It’s fun! And I can make games that I like to play.
What is your favorite way to use code? I like to use my creativity in my projects about nature to think about what might happen in real life, and then I code that into my projects.
Do you have a favorite code block? I don’t have a favorite code block, but my favorite feature is that you can learn what a block is by simply dragging when you’re using a tablet or clicking when you’re on a computer.
How do you get inspiration for your projects? My inspiration comes from nature and animals!
What is your favorite project you’ve made so far? Life of a Worm. I like how it has the real consequences if you were really a worm.
“Life of a Worm”
How did you feel when you found out your project had been featured? Really excited!
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? I publish most of them. Though some of them I don’t really want to publish, because I’m not happy with the way they turned out.
Do you think other kids should try coding? Yes, because coding is fun and they can make games that they like too!
What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker? Learn what the blocks mean, do the tutorials, and look at others’ codes.
We sat down with Alex’s mom, Amanda, to ask her what she thinks about Alex learning how to code. Amanda said, “I’m very proud of him; he’s made a tremendous amount of progress – both in coding abilities, as well as in his levels of patience and perseverance – since he started coding.”
In addition to coding abilities, there are plenty of other skills that coding impacts. Amanda has noticed this, saying, “His patience and perseverance have increased tremendously. He used to have a tendency toward perfectionism, even on his first attempt at something new. He expected to get things right the very first time. And if that didn’t happen, he would get very upset and give up. Now, though, after several months of using Tynker, I see him staying calm and focused while seeing his project through until the end. No more tears over mistakes; he just says ‘Well, that didn’t work the way I had intended. I’ll try a different way.’ And then he continues to work on it until he’s completed his project.”
Amanda supports Alex through all his endeavors! “He is given the opportunity to code every day. Also, when he shows me a code he’s working on, I try to look for a new skill he may have learned since the last project he did and acknowledge his progress.” Amanda told us that she thinks Tynker is a wonderful program and very glad that they found it.
When asked about how much better prepared for the future Alex is, she says, “I do feel that coding is a great skill to have in our technologically-centered world. What I appreciate most from his experience is his ability to have more realistic expectations of his work and abilities, and have the perseverance to continue working through problems/mistakes in order to complete the task at hand.” Amanda and Alex both appreciate this process of learning because they know it makes them both better.
We can’t wait to see what projects Alex will make in the future! Thank you, Alex and Amanda, for taking the time to chat with us. Happy coding!