Sunaya Brings Her Work to Life with Animation!
Step into the world of Sunaya, a multi-talented Featured Maker from Maryland. Eleven-year-old Sunaya loves anime, art, math, Minecraft, and (of course) coding. She even does karate and plays the piano! We were lucky enough to sit down with Sunaya to learn about how she rocks at coding – as well as everything else she sets her mind to!
What do you want to be when you grow up? Originally I wanted to be an actress, but now I want to be someone who animates people and codes them!
How did you get introduced to Tynker and how long have you been coding? My parents downloaded Tynker, and I started to play it everyday and started to like coding! I have been coding for two years.
How did you learn how to use Tynker when you were first starting out? I watched a couple videos, and since then I’ve gotten the hang of it. I looked in the Featured section to see what people liked, but every time I refreshed the Featured section there were totally different projects! I worked on a project for a month and it only got 3 likes, and I work on a project for 25 minutes and it gets featured! I’ve been trying to get a featured project for a long time; it’s been a goal of mine.
How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? I think people started liking my projects more because my drawings got better and I tried more complex code for other projects.
Where do you get the idea for Dinner Dash? I modeled it after Diner Dash, but I made it Dinner Dash and made all the code myself!
How do you get inspiration for your projects? I like action and comedy, so I watch a lot of animated TV shows and that’s where I get the idea. For example, if there is trouble then I see how they overcome it. I do a lot of dress-up stuff since it seems that’s what people like!
Do you have a favorite code block? My favorite code block is probably “change costume,” because that means I get to draw again!
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? I show it to someone, then I take their input and other people’s input and if they all like it, then I’ll play it again, debug it, and then publish it. Dinner Dash took a while to debug though – like 2 weeks!
What is your favorite project you’ve made so far? Dinner Dash 2.0. I like how this project worked out the way it did. There were bugs before, but I fixed them!
What are you planning to make next? Walk the Runway! I make the characters’ commentary a little mushy like, “I don’t think this will ever work! But I have to do my best!” and “How am I supposed to win?!” Then you click the button to make them wave while they change costumes!
“Walk the Runway”
What’s your favorite thing you can do in Tynker? Wake up, look at your Tynker project, and look at the likes!
How do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future? I like the way I can make characters do stuff, and I want to make my character do stuff in the future! I want to make an animated TV series in Tynker.
Do you think other kids should try coding? Well, yeah! I think coding is really, really fun. And I know this isn’t the hardest coding there is, but it’s still code!
What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker? Save your projects constantly and look in the Featured list to see what everyone likes, since the Featured list is based off likes and views. As long as your project has a dramatic title and dramatic cover, you might get a lot of views! And if your project is good inside too, you can have a lot of likes! I also look at their codes too if I can’t figure something out, which is how I learned the next costume in my fashion switch project and the variables, size changes, and messages.
Jess, Sunaya’s mom, gave us insight into how she feels about coding and what it means for her daughter. “We love it,” she said, “Her dad and I are both in technology, so we try to put things in front of her and her brother but not really interfere. We’re thrilled for her!” Jess loves that Tynker allows Sunaya to teach herself and express her creative side. “[She likes] making things look good and making things fun and interactive, which Tynker makes really easy,” Jess explained. She told us that Sunaya uses all of her screen time playing with Tynker and creating more projects!
Sunaya’s parents are very supportive of her coding endeavors. They make sure she has the time to code by allowing her longer screen time when she’s Tynkering; they help her build the confidence to work through challenging concepts; and, most importantly, they serve as her audience as she creates new projects!
Jess has noticed that learning to code has helped Sunaya build logical thinking skills. “It helps to understand action and reaction and just generally to think things through in a logical way,” she said. “This is necessary in coding – and in a lot of things – because you have to plan what you want it to do, then you have to backtrack to figure out the steps to make it work.” She is proud of Sunaya’s motivation and perseverance in working through increasingly complex projects!
“It’s fair to say that there is no future, even in non-technology fields, where you’re not interacting with technology,” Jess said. Knowing that Sunaya wants to be involved with movies and animation, Jess is confident that her daughter will use the tools given to her from an early age and apply them to her career – in whatever she chooses to do.
Thank you to Jess and Sunaya for taking the time to chat with us! We are so excited to see what kind of projects you come up with next, Sunaya!