Cole Creates Worlds with Code!
Featured Maker Cole is 10 years old and from the sunny state of California! For fun, Cole loves to code (in addition to coding in Tynker, he’s also learning Java!), play the piano (he taught himself how to play the first two verses of ‘Fur Elise’ thanks to YouTube videos), and create stories about one of his favorite animals: penguins! One fun fact about Cole is that he has a story universe, with 8 stories featuring 11 different types of penguins!
Cole taps into the power of code to help him solve math olympiad problems: He likes using the different variables and ‘if-then’ statements to make tedious math work a lot easier to do! One problem he solved using Tynker was finding the number of Saturdays in 53 days. He’s been coding for about four years and plans to continue learning. Read on to learn more about how Cole unleashes his imagination and problem-solving skills with code!
What do you want to be when you grow up? Once you get to a certain age, you really start to think of the depth of that question. I was hoping I could make games or something, like video games. I could make board games. I made one before with paper at school.
What’s your favorite subject in school? Math. I like being able to solve problems and do decimal work. It’s kind of interesting.
How did you get introduced to Tynker? I was looking for a more reliable programming app and ran into it.
How did you learn how to use Tynker when you were first starting out? It was definitely just finding out where the puzzle pieces are and how to use them correctly. Once you start putting them together, it’s kind of like making whatever you want!
How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? It’s taught me how to use a variable. If you look at any of my projects, you’ll see that there are quite a few variables. It’s also taught me the basics of programming. Like the building blocks of programming. That’s kind of ironic, that your program uses blocks, and teaches the building blocks of programming. Tynker: What would you say are the building blocks of programming? Probably variables, scripting, functions, loops.
What is your favorite project? ‘Penji Tapper V4.’ I just made it so you can add on roles. My main goal was to have someone go edit it, the pictures, change the labels, change the prices. It was definitely fun adding new globes; it was kind of easy. You could just add new characters, clone your character, change its flapping abilities, and change what world it’s in.
Pengi Tapper V4
How did you get the idea for that project? One day I just wanted to make a tapper. I have a full universe of penguins!
Why do you like to code? It just lets me build whatever I want, without having to get resources. I like being able to build projects…It’s like a sandbox, but more free. With more flexibility.
Do you have a favorite code block? Variables. I use them a lot. I learned how to use them, and they’ve been really helpful. I don’t know what I would do if there were no variables. It’s kind of like putting together a sandbox, but there’s no box. And you don’t have any shovels or building tools.
What do you do when you’re done with a project? I publish it to the Tynker community.
What do you plan to make next? I’m thinking of a power defense game. But the cloning is kind of hard. Because once you have two clones, to make a third clone you have to make two more clones.
What’s your favorite thing about Tynker? The sandbox idea of it. You get to build whatever you want. And I also liked, once the Minecraft builder emerged, I was messing around with it, changing worlds. It was really fun.
How do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future? Maybe it’ll help me with Java. That’s probably my biggest challenge right now. And be able to make more projects.
Why do you think other kids should try coding? So kids can learn to be whatever they want on that program and build cool projects.
What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker? Use variables!
We had the chance to also speak with Mindy, Cole’s mom, to talk about what she has observed as Cole has learned to code. So far, she’s seen a lot of benefits, both in terms of Cole’s technical skills and the character traits he’s developing. “It gets him off of just playing a game and it makes him think about how the game is actually made,” she told us. “It’s given him the confidence to try, and if you don’t succeed you just try again. You don’t just code a game and it works perfectly the first time. It’s a lot about trial and error. With coding at home, it gives you kind of a safe place to have your trial and error. It’s been fun to watch him bring math problems home and pull out Tynker and write a little code to solve that math problem.” Speaking about finding solutions to problems, Mindy explained: “It goes back to the problem-solving. It’s a good thing to have. A lot of kids aren’t very good at problem-solving and want the help and want you to do it for them.”
Mindy has noticed that Cole has progressed in how he interacts with the Tynker community. He’s become a coding leader, as other people have drawn inspiration from his projects: “When he first started it was more, he took someone else’s project and he would try to change it and make it his own. And he learned from what other kids were doing. Now it’s kind of the flip-flop, where he’s made the project and people are taking his project and changing it a little bit. It’s allowed him to grow. I like that aspect.”
Thank you, Mindy and Cole, for sharing your ideas with us about Tynker and coding! We’re excited to see what Cole will create next and what problems he will solve with code.