Inquisitive Coder Preston Discovered Tynker on His Own!
Nine-year-old Preston is in 3rd grade and lives and codes in Smiths Grove, Kentucky. He enjoys playing video games, reading, and watching Youtube videos. When asked which video games he plays, he said, “I like Minecraft, and, I know it’s not really a video game, but Tynker!” We’ve really enjoyed playing his projects – especially “Would You Rather” – so we chatted with him to learn more about how and why he codes!
What’s your favorite subject in school? Reading. My favorite book is Harry Potter, and my favorite Harry Potter is probably Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I love that one. I’ve read all of them.
What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be an engineer. I want to make structures.
How did you get introduced to Tynker? I saw this thing on a computer and I got interested in coding. I looked for coding websites on my iPad, and then I found Tynker.
How long have you been using Tynker? Since last year, in October. That might’ve been the time that I downloaded it.
How did you learn how to do things in Tynker? Looking at other people’s projects. I’ve taken advice and I’ve been looking at other people’s ideas. I’ve been doing the activities with Codey where you’re able to drag the blocks and see what they do – I like the puzzles. I really liked the Candy Quest one because I mean, I love any kind of candy. I’m obsessed with candy.
What’s your favorite feature in Tynker? My favorite feature is how you’re able to make it to where if they say something then you say something, but if they say something different, you’re able to make them say something else. I’m really interested in computer science.
What is your favorite thing you’ve made? My “Would You Rather” project.
How do you get ideas for what projects to make? I look at other people’s projects. Also, we were playing “Would You Rather” in the classroom, so I thought, “Why not make it on Tynker?”
Is there anything you’re working on currently? I just finished something called Pizza Tron a few days ago. Basically you’re able to talk to this pizza and it asks you questions. That’s when I learned how to do [conditional logic]. I didn’t know how to do that with “Would You Rather.”
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? I publish it, and every few days I check how many views it has. I couldn’t believe how many views I had with “Would You Rather” – I thought it’d get a few hundred, but I did not think it’d get as many views as it has. I was just blown away.
Do you show your projects to your family and friends? Yes, I show them to my mom, my dad, and my sister.
Why do you like to code? I find it fun! Once you get into it, it just passes time. Like if I have something boring to do, I’ll just code.
Do you think other kids should try coding? Yes, because I think it actually helps if you want to do something like that when you get older. Like I said, I want to be an engineer, but I’m also planning on making some games. Not as a job, but I’m planning on coding some games.
What advice would you give for kids starting out with Tynker? I would say to never give up. Once you start a project and something is hard don’t just quit it. If you have trouble coming up with an idea, just ask your family and friends – or look on Tynker, because loads of people use Tynker! If you want to get ideas, just look at other projects. There’s a project loaded about every five seconds.
What motivates you to code? It just is fun and I like doing it!
Preston’s dad Shane is really proud of Preston for learning to code! He told us, “He did this all on his own – he found the app started this from the ground up – I thought it was pretty incredible that he didn’t ask us for help.” Preston chipped in with, “And it has 52,000 views!” Shane said he wasn’t aware Preston had been coding before he saw one of his projects. He recounted, “He just basically showed up one day and said ‘Check this out – play this game!’ I was like, ‘That’s cool,’ and then he told us he made it. I know he’s sharp, but I had no idea that was something he was capable of figuring out on his own. I was really proud of him.” When asked why coding is beneficial for kids, Shane responded with, “[Coding] gives kids something constructive to do with their time. I’m a police officer, so I see what happens when kids go down the wrong road. I’m really glad he’s found something to do that’s helping him to learn and get better at a skill that will be useful in the future.”
Thank you for your insight, Shane. We’re so glad coding is such a positive pastime for Preston! Thank you both for your time, Shane and Preston! We can’t wait to see what you code next. Keep Tynkering!