Our 2020 Summer Code Jam is almost over, and we’re so excited to talk to some of our winners about their awesome projects and experiences with Tynker!
Next up we have Chris, a sixth-grader from Massachusetts. Chris is a competitive swimmer with aspirations to be a doctor when he grows up. Those aspirations (and his love of coding!) make it a good thing he excels so much in math and science, which are his favorite subjects in school.
In fact, it was his teacher that first got Chris involved in coding. When he expressed an interest in learning more about coding, she pointed him in the right direction — Tynker!
How did you get introduced to Tynker and how long have you been coding?
So, I want to thank my teacher, Mrs. Walsh. She knew that I was really interested in coding and optional activities. So, when school ended, she told me about an optional summer coding program called Tynker. And I was like, “Sure, I’d love to do it!” And then I just started playing around with Tynker, and I really enjoy the activities on it.
How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker?
When I listen to the videos, I like when your colleagues talk about the good blocks that they use to help them. That helps me create ideas that I use when I code stuff.
How did you feel when you found out your project had been featured?
I was really excited, because I never thought that I would actually get to be a winner.
What is your favorite project you’ve made so far? What do you like about it?
I think it was the American flag because it was the Fourth of July. At first I couldn’t think of anything and, when it occurred to me that it was going to be the Fourth of July, I was like, ‘Bingo!’ And then I just started working a little every single day. My brain fixed around the American flag. I had trouble with some parts, and then I overcame them.
Why do you like to code?
Because I really like making cool things with coding. It’s just really cool in my opinion.
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? Do you debug it? Show it to someone? Publish it?
It depends. Sometimes when I work on new projects, I look back to it to see if there’s anything that I could borrow from an old one to use in the newer project. And that helps me sometimes when I get stuck.
What’s the best thing about Tynker?
I really like how there’s different courses that you can learn with and how there are contests like the Summer Code Jam that you can win cool prizes with and that are really fun and how you can explore Tynker.
Is there anything we should change or add to Tynker?
I just wish the contest would go longer for like maybe the whole year or every every month. Just keep it going, not just for one season.
How do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future?
Well, coding can help people in many ways, And by learning coding, I I can possibly help people in the future.
Do you think other kids should try coding? Why’s that?
Definitely. I mean, you have to try something before you know if you like it.
What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker?
Keep calm and carry on!
We spoke with Chris’ mother, Jackie, as well. She’s been so excited to see how well Chris is excelling with Tynker! “I was really excited and surprised he could do that,” Jackie said. “Especially with the American flag. I remember he was in his room for hours, then he came up to me and said ‘Would you like to see what I did?’ I couldn’t wait to see it.”
Since the current pandemic means that the family is stuck at home a lot this summer, Jackie is glad that Chris can use this time productively. “The summer is a special time, but most people are staying at home. So, at least he can do something he is interested in. That’s really cool.”
When asked about the benefits Jackie sees in Chris learning to code, she tells us: “I think coding helps him with his logical thinking. He seems to organize his stuff better after coding, because he knows, like, you have to do this before doing that, and not to skip steps. So, really, it helps his thinking overall.”
We want to thank Chris and Jackie for taking the time out of their day to speak with us about their experience with Tynker! Congratulations again to Chris and we’re looking forward to more of your projects! Happy coding!