5 Creative Coding Projects for Back to School
Aug 23, 2023
As back-to-school season is already here again, we've put together five creative coding projects your students can create in imagi Edu that are perfect for the first few days or weeks of school. These projects beautifully merge the world of Python programming with art and social emotional learning, offering a dynamic and engaging way to kickstart the new academic year. We hope you'll find a few of these projects helpful in getting your students excited about STEAM right from the start!
1. Share Your Name with the Scrolling Text Function
A cool way to get students excited about STEAM is to incorporate their personal stories and experiences in class. Teachers can make this experience even more exciting by using the scrolling text function for one of the first creative coding projects of the year. With the scrolling_text() command and a simple phrase like "My name is Jack" students can learn coding while getting to know one another and expressing themselves creatively. As the scrolling text moves on, it shows each student's name. Students can then share a fun fact or story about their name in pairs or in a whole group
2. Program an Emoji to Show How Are You Feeling
Emojis speak louder than words, right? Encourage your students to show their emotions in a whole new way by coding their very own emoji. Whether kids are feeling happy, sad, or somewhere in between, they can apply programming skills to craft an emoji that captures their mood perfectly. We like this project because it creates an environment where students can comfortably express their feelings through technology and build their social emotional skills. By blending art and code, kids can have an opportunity to express themselves in entirely new ways!
3. Introduce Yourself with Code
This is a great idea for students so that they can learn more about each other as they start a new school year. Ask your students to pick their favorite color, book, animal, or snack and turn it into a creative coding masterpiece. As they work on this project, students can practice foundational coding skills in a relevant way by crafting a digital reflection of their personalities.
4. Get to Know Classmates with Pair Programming
Coding is awesome, but coding with new friends is a whole new level of fun! Split your students into coding pairs, just like our founders Bea and Dori, who combined their imagiCharms to create a heart. This project encourages kids to think outside the box, as they can design something that exceeds the limit of one 8x8 matrix. By working together, kids can also practice communicating and executing their ideas as a team. Check out this creative project example to see the code behind two pieces of heart.
5. Program to the Beat of Your Favorite Song
Here's an engaging way to blend coding and music in your classroom. This project lets students sync a blinking pixel heart (or any other pixel design) with their chosen song's rhythm. By setting the blink_rate variable based on the song's beats per minute (BPM), students learn about variables and timing. Guide them in picking a song, calculating BPM with a tool like www.beatsperminuteonline.com, and translating it into code. This project not only adds a creative twist to coding but also shows students how technology can interact with the arts in fun and educational ways. Pro tip: you can also find this particular project outlined in Activity 5 of Lesson 1 in the Creative Coding Lessons available in imagi Edu!
To wrap up, we hope you’ll find a few of these creative coding projects helpful as you are welcoming your students back to school. Even if this will be your or your students’ first time coding, we’ve picked projects that don’t require prior experience in order for you to dive in with confidence. You can easily leverage our free platform imagi Edu and our free lesson plans to help you get started, and you’ll find numerous project examples awaiting you at our Resource Hub to keep your students engaged in coding throughout the year.
Happy coding and happy back-to-school!