We taught beginning project management classes from 8-10am and then our kids participated in The MADE Scratch Video Game Programming class. Our program consists of 3 mandatory classes to receive a Certificate of Completion in beginning project management and coding/programming of video games. Kids who participated but didn’t complete the mandatory 3 classes received a Certificate of Participation. We offered a makeup class for kids who missed any of the first 2 sets of classes. We’re working on making an online version of the class available for kids who miss 1 class.
The MADE has 15 laptops and workstations. For the first class (Saturday, December 3rd), 12 kids signed up and 8 kids attended the project management portion of the class. 9 more kids joined the Scratch portion of the class so we had 17 students and had to double up on a couple of laptops.
Since this is a pilot project, both PJMan & The StarGazers and The MADE were a little unprepared for the size of the group and the range of computer experience. All of the kids had experience playing video games but there were a few who had no or little computer experience. Because of this and all the excitement from the kids, the teachers didn’t get to finish the game on the first day of class (Dec. 3, 2016). This was the biggest class ever for The MADE. There were times where they had to stop class to show a couple of kids how to right mouse click and copy and paste. Thus, for the next class (Saturday, December 10th) we took 30 mins. of the project management portion to teach beginning computing and an overview of Scratch.
Fortunately, during the second class on December 10th we were able to cover the project management material, the computing and Scratch overview information and complete the Scratch Video Game Programming class.
11 kids attended the project management section and 2 more kids joined us for the Scratch Video Game Production class. The kids created a maze game. It was amazing to see that each kids was able to follow the class and ensure that their game worked. Only problem was that they were spending so much time customizing their games that as the final new feature was added we ran out of time to do a final test. …and another feature of our project that I keep forgetting about is that when you take a class (always free) at The MADE you get to play the games in the museum – Old game like Atari and Nintendo (the old versions). So unfortunately, when the teach just announced we’re out of time the kids took off for the games.
A makeup class was offered December 17th for any kids who missed any of the first 2 classes. 1 kids showed up for the project management portion and 6 kids joined the video game coding / programming portion of our class. The game taught was the Hippo Farm.
Since this is a beginning class, and unfair to the students we didn’t get to complete the first game on December 3rd and we ended the class without fair warning December 10th when we met for our last class January 7th we will use this experience to further explain how real life IT projects work where you can have multiple iterations and testings (Betas, User, Alpha etc…). About 15 members of our project management group are in the process of testing the kids’ game and offering feedback and encouragement.
Our final class was Saturday, January 7th. Despite many challenges, 5 kids finished all classes with perfect attendance. 3 more need to make up the last class. The last day of class I was getting over the flu and still suffering with laryngitis which I had for 3 weeks. One the first of a number of major storms in the Bay Area hit the morning of the last class.
Each kid received a Certificate of Completion or Participation, a Scorecard, feedback regarding their games, tools to management school projects and information regarding future classes and activities. We will also cover Lessons Learned for the kids projects and our programs: PJMan & The StarGazers / Project Management and The MADE.org / Video Game Coding-Programming.