Newsletter Project 20181130


Odyssey Middle School



Hey Parents, it is Mr. Young with an update about our programming class.  I first want to thank you all for supporting your children.  We are grateful for the opportunity to share what we love whether it is sports, teamwork, science or friendship.  As a refresher, the City of Orlando runs the city wide After School AllStars program which provides before and after school activities for Odyssey Middle School (ODMS).  After our hit Summer Science Program we requested materials for a 2018-2019 Science Olympiad team, Programming, 3D printing, and Robotics courses.  It felt like Christmas in August in that we were granted materials for all those program.

Modeled after's "Animation and Gaming" curriculum, our goal is for students to create their own game. We are using the Scratch Integrated Design Environment (IDE).  Scratch was developed at MIT to teach fundamental programming concepts and is free for anyone to use.  This means the fun never has to end!  Students are encouraged to continue with their creativity at home.

We are so far 3 sessions into our Robotics programming course that will culminate in two of our students competing with our Science Olympiad team against all other programming teams in the region!

In our first session we went over the, "Black Box", theory of programming and computing.  We actually got the chance to take apart a computer and identify the component pieces.  

In session two we introduced variables with how to create, name and reference them.  We also introduced Sprites which are a grouping of variables.  Sprites in Scratch usually have associated sounds, animations and other attributes (color, direction, name, etc) that we can change and use with our variables.

In session three we manipulated our sprite's variables to simulate movement and animation (walk, run and jump).  Addy made a custom costume for one of her sprites.  Ajay had one of his sprites disappear after slam-dunking a basket.

Session 4 will combine everything we did before and create actions based on our sprite's hidden boolean attributes.

Session 5 will use conditional events such as collisions and hidden attributes changes to start other animations.  We will also start using external input so that a gamer can interact with their sprite.

Session 6 simulates velocity and advanced collisions.

Our big field trip will be on

January 19th, 2019

Regional Science Olympiad Competition

at Ocoee High School.

Two of our students will be competing in the, "Game On", event where they will be given 50 minutes to create a game based on a science related prompt (revealed at competition).  We are still looking for parent chaperones.  Please email myself or Ms Hope if you want to support our team the day of the event.


Mark your Calendars!

When What  Details
February 6th, 2019 We show off our finished games to the world!  We'll have everybody vote on the games to pick their 3 favorites.  The top 3 game developers will decide the theme for our end of unit party.  
February 13th, 2019 End of class party!
March 3rd, 2019 Building (ha ha...see what I did there?!?) off of our programming skills we now turn our talents to external input and output.  Dates stay the same - Wednesday during Academics.  Sign up in advance!




I am a pretty private person by nature.  I don't know if I've adapted my father's stoic demeanor or taken to heart my mother's constant reminders about humility.  Whatever the reason, a blog is the exact opposite of what I want to do.  My reason for starting the blog is to add some depth to the projects that you might see around here.  For detailed coverage we can take it to the forum and discuss at length.  I hope you find something useful or interesting while dropping into this stream of self-consciousness.

I can't think of a better way to not talk about myself than to talk about my daughter!

For this first post I'd like to celebrate industrial strength successes.  One of the classes we offer is an Amateur Radio test prep.  While teaching a private group I got it into my head that my daughter should be subjected to the lectures.  Because she is a 5th grade level homeschooler I need to show her progress in science (in addition to math, writing and reading).  Bingo, a ham radio license should easily qualify for the science requirement.  Having Gabby in the lectures would also help debug them since most people are too polite to say, "Yer not making any sense!"

January 9th, 2016 my daughter earned her Technician license!  Way to kick off the new semester.


What a beautiful day

We'll see where this takes me but I intend to use the blogging section of this site as a guided tour of the projects, adventures and media posted on the site.