Meet Drew, the Creator of an Awesome Rube Goldberg Program
Ten-year-old Drew is in 5th grade and lives in Huntersville, North Carolina. He loves coding, building with Legos, reading, and spending time with his family. Drew’s built some really exciting projects, so we wanted to chat with him and learn more about why he likes to code.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A robotics engineer. I like it because when I was in elementary school my mom ran a Lego club where we used molders and gears to build things. I guess that made me want to be a robotics engineer.
How did you get introduced to Tynker? At my old school every few weeks we’d have an hour or so where we’d just code. Coding isn’t part of my new school, but sometimes in between classes I’ll do it, or before school.
How long have you been using Tynker? Two or three years, I would say.
What is your favorite thing you’ve made? Probably the Rube Goldberg machine – How to Ring a Bell.
What inspired you to make that project? I was at a show where they challenge two teams of people to make a Rube Goldberg machine. I looked them up on Youtube, then decided to try and make my own on Tynker.
Do you look at the Tynker community projects? Yeah, a lot of times. That’s where I get most of my inspiration.
What’s your favorite feature in Tynker? Probably that you can pretty much do anything you want to do, like you can make any icon. If you want to make a Superman icon, go right ahead! You can also get some really good animation. I had a stick man animation with actors for its elbows, hands, and head, so they would move like how a person would move – it looked like the person was jumping or running. I haven’t shared it yet, it’s still a work in progress.
Why do you like to code? Mainly because you can code whatever you want to. When I wanted to make my own Rube Goldberg machine, I could super easily. I like it because you can code almost anything that’s in your head.
Do you think other kids should try coding? Definitely. It’s really fun to do, and I’d like to see more community projects – more people making more things to inspire others to make more things and so on.
What advice would you give for kids starting out with Tynker? I would probably tell them to look at beginner projects. One of the best things to do, which my friend Nicholas and I did, is to take some of the game kits and change them.
Drew’s parents love that he’s learning to code! His dad Matt said, “As an engineer I love it – logical thinking and everything having an order – but it also uses creativity, which is something I always had trouble with.” He elaborated on the idea of creativity in coding, saying, “With Tynker and other coding, your brain’s really your only limit.”
Drew’s mom Tara typically doesn’t want Drew playing on screens too much, but feels like she can “make an exception when he’s making the video game. To me that just feels super cool, and it seems like something that is really going to benefit him – problem solving – so I’m all for it.” She’s a teacher herself, and recently coded with her first graders. She recounted, “I was terrified before I did it and then after I did it I was thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, even I could do this!’
She also told us Drew’s teacher said that he’d been showing Tynker to kids at school. Drew chipped in saying, “I heard one person say that it was on the app store because we have a limited app store, so there are only a few apps for our school. I immediately went there and downloaded it, and a lot of people saw what I was making and downloaded it too.”
We’re glad you all find coding with Tynker exciting and accessible! Thanks for speaking with us, Drew, Tara, and Matt! Drew – thanks for Tynkering, and for Tynkering with your friends at your new school! We’re looking forward to playing more of your awesome games.