View Full Version : Alice in SciFest

01-22-2007, 03:47 AM
Hi all,

I am Andrés Moreno, a researcher in Joensuu, Finland. I have been assigned to prepare a programming workshop for a coming Science Festival (http://www.scifest.fi/en/)that is going to happen in Joensuu in two months time.

My idea is to have kids i(~13 years olds) doing a simple task with Alice for 2-3 hours. And I would like to know what the Alice community think could be a proper task for them.

Those kids with previous programming experience and those that enjoyed Alice could move to the Programming Workshop pt2, where kids will be getting their hands on Jeliot 3 (http://cs.joensuu.fi/jeliot).

Any ideas or advices?


02-19-2007, 08:27 PM
If you only have 2-3 hours, you may be better off teaching "scratch"
http://scratch.mit.edu/ rather than Alice. It won't get you as far, but it has a much lower entry barrier.

02-20-2007, 03:00 AM
Thanks Kevin for your suggestion. Scratch looks much simple and limited, but that is not a problem. I will have a deeper look at it.

I think I will run two pilot tests, one with Scratch and the other with Alice in order to make a decision!


Shadow Sovereign
02-28-2007, 06:54 AM
Since you're going to use Alice anyways, I figure I'll steal from the book on this one and suggest having the kids do something they can interact with. In one exercise, I recall making a room filled with several pieces of furniture, and I had to make them move during the program by setting an event to 'let mouse move objects'.

I think something similar (or same, if you want to do that :) ) would be a great experience for kids that age who are looking into programming as a possible future career. ;)

That's just my suggestion. I'm sure several other people will have some ideas, too.

03-01-2007, 02:12 AM
Thanks for your suggestions Mr Sovereign. I will take that activity into account.

Two days ago, a kid (around 12 yo) and I were learning to use Alice. The kid itself had designed the task in advance, and Alice was the chosen tool to implement it. He wanted to do a 3D treasure hunt with enemies to beat. In two hours we were able to have a fairy to attack and kill mummies, the camera to follow the character, albeit with some lag, and the fairy to pick up the treasure and run away with it.

In summary, Alice keep up well with the task and the kid was satisfied with the result.

I think that the idea of designing a game with the characters they like should be a engaging one for both boys and girls. I'd have to think in something else than killing for the girls though...

03-01-2007, 06:50 PM
Hello Andres,

See the World of the Week thread in the Share Worldsforum. The first world I posted is a sample solution to Cases and Places 2 from chapter 4 in the Shelly Cashman Herbert Alice book. I think that's a good simple exercise for students who have had a brief lesson on what events are.

03-07-2007, 05:38 AM
Hi Chuck,

Thanks for the tip and your solution. It will help me a lot to know the standard ways of doing certain things, which I take with an amateur approach.

The kid really grasped the concept of events without much explanation, and was able to replicate and create his own ones. The kid has a critical mind, and can relate the things he does when playing (e.g., DOOM) and when implementing the solutions. I wonder if that is a coincidence or a casual relationship, I should have a look in the relevant literature...


03-21-2007, 11:20 AM
Thanks again to everyone, SciFest is starting tomorrow...

I will keep my blog updated with info and pics on how things are going!



03-27-2007, 11:47 AM
Enjoyed your blog. If you post your manual here, I promise to read it (even though that violates some of my basic principles :D ).