Will Achieves Amazing Things with Willpower!
Meet Featured Maker Will, a nine-year-old coder from Ohio! Whether he’s working with LEGOs or creating Tynker projects, this 5th grader is a fantastic builder. Will also loves to draw, and he wants to use his skills to become a famous artist, author, or director. In addition to overcoming coding obstacles as he creates his own art, Will also overcomes physical obstacle courses in his American Ninja Warrior class!
Will is full of so much energy and excitement – when we asked him how he felt about his project being featured, he said, “I was extremely happy! I actually jumped up even though I didn’t know what it was at first. I was just full of happy energy for the rest of the day!” We caught up with Will to ask him about coding and why he loves Tynker.
How did you get introduced to Tynker and how long have you been coding? My teacher had us install it on our iPads in the beginning of the school year. I’ve also done the Hour of Code, starting in first grade!
How did you learn how to use Tynker when you were first starting out? I kinda remembered how to code through Hour of Code – drag the blocks, use certain blocks to create one big thing, get a code to have your characters move.
Where do you get the idea for your Pac-Man game? I was able to use one of those basic things Tynker gives us – the direction keys one with a helicopter – I used that and just gave it the sprite for Pac-Man. So instead of the helicopter moving around three times, it would just be the Pac-Man opening and closing its mouth!
How do you get inspiration for your projects? Sometimes I’ll think of one thing, how it would work, and how it would work on Tynker. Then I’ll try to make it! I’ll think of most of them when I’m about to go to sleep.
Why do you like to code? I like to code because it helps me feel like I’m creating an actual video game. I really like to play games! I like to create my own games and share them with my friends at school.
“Fishing Frenzy” Check out all Will’s projects here!
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? I usually wait a while, and then a couple days later I check on it and see how many people have played it, how many people have liked it, how many people have really enjoyed it.
What is your favorite project you’ve made so far? Pac-Man!
What are you planning to make next? I’m thinking about going back to working on Pac-Man and my FNAF 4 game.
How do you think learning coding has prepared you for the future? Since I would like to be a designer, also maybe create some video games, I’ll know how to do it – how it works.
Do you think other kids should try coding? Yeah! It’s a really fun experience for everybody who tries it.
What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker? Start small and try to understand the beginning code. The better you get through Tynker, the bigger and better things you’ll be able to code!
We spoke with Will’s mom, Emily, to discuss how coding has influenced Will and prepared him for the future. “I like it a lot,” she said. “He’s always liked technology and being creative, and I like that he gets to learn something that’s related to science, math, and problem solving. It seems really fun for him because it’s video game–based, and his school is really supportive of it so that’s good!”
Emily is a college counselor and immediately sees how coding can benefit Will as he grows older. “It’s interdisciplinary,” said Emily. “He can think of different stories and narratives, but also think mathematically!” She loves the fact that Will is learning and having fun at the same time – and that he likes to help others learn, as well! “I think anything that allows him to learn is better preparing him, but I like the aspect that coding gives him. It builds a sense of confidence when he can create and get constructive feedback. I think it’s a good skill to have, like the soft skills. I like to hear that he is being a helper to other classmates as well!”
It was wonderful to chat with both Emily and Will! Thank you so much for your time – we cannot wait to see what projects you have coming up, Will!