Seventh-grader Santiago from Arizona loves STEM and enjoys using 3D printers at his school! In addition to being a lover of science fiction and fantasy, Santiago is also a whiz at Rubik’s cubes! His own personal record time of cube completion? One minute!
Santiago has aspirations of making coding a career…. if he doesn’t wind up a NASA scientist that is! Right now, he’s even taking classes in Java so he can create his own games! We talked to Santiago about his experience with Tynker…
How did you get introduced to Tynker and how long have you been coding? It was fifth grade and we just finished another one of our projects in STEM. Our teacher told us about Tynker and me and my friend found it and then we just started looking at stuff from coding and tutorials!
How did you learn how to use Tynker when you were first starting out? I kind of knew how to do it because I’ve been using Scratch before and I was pretty familiar with the whole touch-and-drag and one tutorial that I did was with the helicopter and shooting the aliens. That was my favorite!
How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? I think they’ve improved with the whole drag-and-drop, and I think the overall understanding of how it works. It’s really so simple. “If this happens, then do that. If not, then something else.” It also helped me a little bit with Java, helping me understand how the sequence works!
How did you feel when you found out your project had been featured? I was like, “Yes!” I saw some email asking if my project could be featured, and then I showed my friends! I was really excited!
What is your favorite project you’ve made so far? My Peppa Pig clicker because it’s simple, but really funny, like all the things in the photos that I’ve added!
Where do you get the idea for your favorite project and how long did it take you to make? I got the idea from a chicken clicker from littleozwald, so it was really fun to do with my friends. Then I remixed it and I put different photos and different names and stuff. I think it took me like three months.
How do you get inspiration for your projects? Sometimes I go on Featured and look at the projects and then make them. Sometimes they just come to my head, like one of the projects that I made was called The Blank Wall and all I did was change the color of the background, then I just published it. I just wanted people to be fooled!
Why do you like to code? I guess because it just always interested me, the fact that all this is working because of code.
Do you have a favorite code block? I think one of my favorite code blocks is the forever block. It can just make things go forever and ever!
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? I just test it out quickly. I went to the store part of the game to see if any of the blocks were too big, because sometimes that happened and I edited it. And then I publish it!
What are you planning to make next? I’ve tried making a Teletubbies clicker but I don’t know what I’m gonna do next really!
What’s the best thing about Tynker? I like how you can like post things and everyone can see them and have fun with them!
How do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future? I think it has because a lot of the careers I’m thinking involve code and using math and computers. So, it’s definitely helped!
Do you think other kids should try coding? Definitely, because it can get really fun once you know the basics and everything. At first it’s a bit challenging but then once you get done with the basics, it’s really fun!
What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker? I think look at your favorite project, maybe remix it and then like change a couple things and go from there!
Santiago’s mom, Fabiola, discussed how she felt about him learning to code and what she thinks about Tynker. “Well, I love it because I know nothing about coding,” Fabiola said, “I kept getting these emails about Tynker, and I was wondering what that was. I love companies like Tynker because they provide an outlet for children who have a great desire to learn and it’s mostly self-driven. I think there are very few places that are safe and that provide children an outlet for creativity and learning and they can just pick up from there, so I’m grateful.”
Fabiola sees how coding helps Santiago in other areas, specifically in understanding how the end product comes into place and making him more interested in taking courses in Java, showing his tenacity. The problem-solving and the required steps needed to complete a project shows Fabiola how constructive Tynker makes Santiago. “I think that’s a great tool for life for him right now and it keeps him busy and it’s constructive,” she said. “I’m all for it!”
Santiago has expressed his affinity for STEM, so Fabiola finds that empowering. She thinks the future is headed in a technological direction and it’s good for him to understand why things are the way they are.
The future is bright for Santiago and Fabiola realizes that. “Just knowing that he can learn. I think it is amazing for you to have that desire to self-learn.”
We want to thank Santiago and Fabiola for taking the time to speak with us about their experience with Tynker and we are looking forward to more projects by Santiago. Happy coding!