Taking on Code with Game Maker Nathan!
Meet Featured Maker Nathan, a 10-year-old 5th grader from Illinois! He challenges himself by playing baseball, basketball, and especially by coding. In his free time, Nathan also loves to read about coding.
“Since first grade I’ve always liked coding,” he said. “We had this project where you had to get an Angry Bird to go somewhere using code. I found it a lot of fun and was one of the first to finish that project!”
Nathan has found a passion for coding, and we were lucky enough to sit down with him and learn more about his love of programming!
How did you get introduced to Tynker and how long have you been coding? In my fourth grade math class we were introduced to Tynker, but I’ve been coding since first grade!
How did you learn how to use Tynker when you were first starting out? I had to use block coding before, so I just experimented with that and then I thought about what project to make! I thought about what I’m decent at, so I thought about drawing a car. Then I figured out Tynker all on my own!
How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? I think I’ve improved quite a bit, because I used it a lot since I found it really fun.
How did you feel when you found out your project had been featured? I ran up to my mom’s room and showed her!
How long did it take you to make your car drawing tutorial project? The car project took two days, since I had to draw each little step over and over again.
How do you get inspiration for your projects? I read books about coding and I look at other things that people have made.
Why do you like to code? It takes my stress away! If I keep finding bugs, I get more stressed, but it goes away once I figure it out. And it’s a lot of fun!
What is your favorite way to use code? I like to make games mostly.
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? I look over it and make sure everything is fine. Sometimes I’ll show it to people, like my brother, and he’ll play it and even give me some ideas!
What is your favorite project you’ve made so far? The car drawing tutorial! I like it because it’s not so much a game as it is a tutorial. I even use it sometimes if I forget how to draw a car!
“Draw a beautiful car!”
What are you planning to make next? I’m working on a basketball game right now!
What’s your favorite thing you can do in Tynker? The games that are created by Tynker. I like those because you can play it without WiFi and it’s just fun. I didn’t know much about variables until I did some of those! The dragon one is my favorite.
How do you think learning coding has prepared you for the future? I think that if I learn it now, then it won’t be as hard later on! If i’m coding for someone or something else, I will be able to know how to fix it and work with it.
Do you think other kids should try coding? I think a lot of them should! I say a lot because it may be too hard for some.
What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker? I would tell them to play the Tynker-made ones first, because then you could learn more stuff about it. I would also tell them to look up something like a tutorial to get started!
Kristy, Nathan’s mom, sat down with us too and told us that she thinks it’s awesome that he is learning how to code! “The more he can do now,” she says, “the better off he’ll be when he goes off to college. He loves it, he reads about it all the time and is always working on it. I’m just really proud of him!” Kristy is fully supportive of Nathan – he goes to various classes for coding during summer and participates in week-long summer coding camps to challenge himself!
Nathan is a critical thinker, which is exactly what Kristy sees him strengthen with Tynker. She sees that coding helps Nathan “to solve other things and to think about things in a different way. He keeps trying and perseveres, even when he doesn’t know how to do it!” She says she doesn’t even need to push him to code – he does it all on his own!
Thank you for talking with us, Nathan and Kristy! We know that you will come up with even more great projects in the future, Nathan. Happy coding!