It’s hard to imagine that our Featured Maker, 12-year-old Amaya, has any free time at all. After all, this California native already plays four instruments — cello’s her favorite, but she also plays piano, violin and ukulele! But attending a STEM school has given Amaya and her family a great appreciation for the importance of learning coding through Tynker. So, she makes sure she finds the time to code when she’s not jamming out with the orchestra!
Amaya likes the classics — her favorite artist is Johnny Cash and when she began coding she started by ‘walking the line’ herself, moving characters back and forth. Today, however, doing more advanced coding through Tynker is a breeze. We’re highlighting her “Which One Doesn’t Belong?” project which is set on a planet in outer space and asks players to identify which creatures don’t belong there.
Family members like her cousin and sister first got Amaya started on Tynker. Consider taking a page out of Amaya’s music sheet and get your own family and friends coding with Tynker.
How did you get introduced to coding and Tynker and how long have you been coding? Well, my teacher told us to get it in 5th grade and I did it a lot then.
How did you learn how to use Tynker when you were first starting out? Did you have any favorite Tynker courses or tutorials? Well, first my cousin showed me it. She was 6 years old at the time and she asked me to make this project for her, so I had to figure it out and I did. And then I realized it was kind of easy, so I kept doing it!
How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? When I started I mostly just made things move back and forth, but now I can do a lot of different stuff. I can make things drag, disappear, go different speeds.
How did you feel when you found out your project had been featured? I was really excited because I kind of worked hard on it, so I was excited that other people liked it, I guess!
What is your favorite project you’ve made so far? What do you like about it? Well, I did two more where I used stop-motion to make videos and I thought it was pretty cool because I could just take a bunch of photos and make them move. We used stop-motion when I was in 5th grade and so I used it in Tynker because I had that idea, so I just did it!
Where do you get inspiration for your favorite projects, Amaya? How long did it take you to make? I don’t know, I was just thinking about it one day. So, I decided to do it because I thought it would be pretty easy and it was. It probably took like half-an-hour.
Which One Doesn’t Belong?
How do you get inspiration for your projects? Usually my sister says something, or she has an idea for something, so I just use it in some other way. Or with other projects, I usually get an idea from that and then change it but with the same kind of idea.
In general, why do you like to code? I think it’s kind of fun because you can make anything happen with it and it’s fairly easy.
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? Do you debug it? Show it to someone? Publish it immediately? I usually have my sister use it first and then if she likes it, I publish it. Otherwise I change it until she likes it.
What’s the best thing about Tynker? I think it’s cool because it’s really easy to use and you can do unlimited amounts of projects.
How do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future? It kind of works with problem solving because you can figure out what does what.
Do you think other kids should try coding? Why’s that? Yeah, it’s good because you can learn stuff from it like how to code and problem solving like I said.
Finally, let’s end on something fun. What’s a fun fact about you that makes you unique? I can play four instruments — cello, piano, violin and ukelele. I’ve been playing piano the longest, but my favorite’s the cello.
Oh, cool! Do you have any favorite artists? I like listening to Johnny Cash music.
Amaya’s mom, Jennifer, is just as excited about Amaya’s newfound coding skills as her daughter is. She admitted that sometimes the things that Amaya’s working on can go over her head a little bit — especially since coding through Tynker just looks like having fun to her! Jennifer’s really pleased that the STEM focus of Amaya’s school has brought her toward constructive activities like Tynker.
Jennifer’s grateful for the technical skills that Amaya’s developing, but above all she loves what Tynker is teaching her about follow-through and sticking with a project. After all, it’s easy to pick up new hobbies and cast them aside just as quickly. When you’re building code with Tynker, however, you get to see the end results right away. That kind of gratification can go a long way!
A big thank you to both Amaya and Jennifer for sitting down with us and talking to us about their experiences with Tynker! We can’t wait to see what else Amaya has in store for us. She also shared that she hopes to become a marine biologist one day. We know she’ll make as big a splash in that field as she has with Tynker. In the meantime, you should dive into the big wide ocean of Tynker and see what you can discover yourself. Happy coding!