Scratch is one of our favorite tech programs because the software is so versatile that every class creates a totally new environment. Even if you have used Scratch in the past, you can always learn another trick and design an original project.
In our fall session, for grades 5 - 8, participants developed a scene with imported or drawn characters and backgrounds and programmed their characters to interact with other objects in the scene. There were a variety of approaches and each one turned out great!
We hope you had an awesome time at the program and if you would like to make a project at home, visit the Scratch website.
(*Note: If you are having trouble viewing the project, refresh the page, or click on the title of the scene.)
In the fall edition of stop-motion animation, kids (grades 2-4) combined their artistic abilities with their technology skills to create some wonderful movies. First, they came up with an outline for their story. Next, they used digital cameras to take pictures and import them into iMovie. Last, they put the finishing touches on their projects by adding professional quality opening and closing effects.
The librarians were extremely impressed with the attention to detail displayed by each group. Their hard work was apparent, as each video turned out to be a masterpiece! Great work and remember, you can make a stop-motion video at home. Click on the links below to get specific instructions for your computer.
Step-by-step instructions: Windows Live Movie Maker (PC)
Step-by-step instructions: iMovie (Mac)
We were so glad to have such a good turn-out for the light painting program. It was a lot of fun for everyone and the results were truly one of a kind! To see the full catalog of pictures for each group, click on the links below.
To start the program, each group was given a digital camera and flashlights. The groups then used the equipment to create awesome, original artwork, with no special effects added. The way to achieve the unique effects is to find a dark room, put a digital camera into manual mode, change the shutter speed to 15 seconds, and use bright flashlights with focused light to "paint" in the air. It's that easy! Try out light painting at home and make sure to share your photos with the librarians!
More details about light painting and other cool projects can be found on the Exploratorium's blog.
In our last game design program, we barely skimmed the surface of what can be done using Scratch. However, one of the best features of Scratch is participants can go back and edit their projects. Ideas for expanding your project include adding new controls, new sprites, and even new levels. This document will show you which scripts to use in order to make a new level. If you have any questions or want to learn more, feel free to contact Youth Services.
If you were in the game design program, you can access and edit your projects here.
Games are a lot of fun to play, but designing your own game can be even better! In our program, game designers used software called Scratch to program their own motion-controlled game. Programming sounds like it would be very difficult, but participants learned that programming is just a way to tell the characters in their game how to act. It is almost like a game of Simon Says. Everyone did a fantastic job working through the commands and building their games.
Participants can download their game and continue their work. If you weren't able to make it to the class, you can start a new game by downloading Scratch. Our next blog post will include the code we used, how to make another level, and the thoughts behind our game design program.
Grades 2 - 4
Grades 5 - 8
All of the filmmakers did an amazing job of working together to create magnificent movies. The process was so much fun that participants asked if they could do this at home. Yes, you can! We have included instructions on how to make a stop-motion film using either a PC (Windows Live Movie Maker) or Mac (iMovie) computer.
For a step-by-step guide on how to use Windows Live Movie Maker to create an animation, click here.
For instructions on how to use iMovie to make an animation, click here.
The videos below will be shown on the big screen at the Red Carpet Premier, July 12. Please register each person who plans to attend, as seats are limited.
Giant Hamburger from Outer Space
Revenge of Hammy
Superheroes in Peril
Toontastic was a great way to kick off the tech programs for the Summer Library Club! The free iPad app is a wonderful tool to introduce children to story arcs as the program offers different scenes like setup, conflict, challenge, climax, and resolution. Kids used Toontastic to pick a setting, characters, music, and narrate a story. Click on the links below to watch the animated stories. Enjoy!
We love to share stories at the library, but we also love to make up our own. Toontastic is an app that allows kids to author their own stories, while teaching them how to follow a traditional story arc. The app works with the iPad, iPad Mini, and iPhone. Download by pressing:
Below are the stories made in our latest program.
Last week, we hosted another fantastic LEGO Mindstorms program. This time, it was up to the builders to decide what they were going to do. Each group was given a simple base model to start with and told to let their creativity take over. We didn't know what to expect, but were amazed when each group came up with a completely different robot. It was truly impressive to witness the creativity and smarts it took to design and program the robots. Great job to all who participated!
Watch the video below to catch a glimpse of the fun, and keep an eye out for our next Mindstorms program.
In the most recent Scratch Animation class, the group learned how move their characters using the arrow keys, have "enemies" move randomly, and how to make character's disappear to signify the end of the game. The examples below are really impressive games that took a lot of hard work. Great job!
To learn more about Scratch, see our previous post: Scratch Animation