Tokyo Institute of Technology: traP holds spring 2021 coding class for middle and high school students online

Digital Creators Club traP held their spring 2021 programming class for middle and high school students on March 21. Despite the online environment required due to the effects of COVID-19, the class — held every March and August — once again successfully introduced the basics of code to youngsters with no prior programming experience.

This spring, 23 students joined the class via Zoom. The group split into teams, with two students joining a Tokyo Tech mentor in each team. After an icebreaking activity to get everyone comfortable, the teams accessed the development environment and began coding.

Using JavaScript, the goal was to create a 2D classic invader game played directly on the participants’ browsers. Throughout the class, the students were able to experience various processes such as drawing figures, handling variables, and collision detection using conditional branching. They listened to their instructors, freely asked questions, and actively created their own games, all from the safety of their own homes. Some even tried to add additional features to their games based on advice from their Tokyo Tech instructors. Most importantly, however, all participants spent plenty of time programming.

Participants receiving instructions on how to create classic invader game

Participants receiving instructions on how to create classic invader game
Just before lunch, a round of lightning talks was also held. Members from traP and Supporterz Inc., a Tokyo-based recruitment and event planning company that has supported this event on numerous occasions, spoke about what the class participants might want to study next to improve their programming. These talks were very well received, as was the entire session. “I understood what I can do by learning programming, and this gave me an opportunity to think about my future,” one participant commented.

We hold two of these programming classes a year, and I am very pleased that we have been able to maintain roughly the same content despite the move to an online environment.
I am currently deepening my knowledge of computers at the Department of Computer Science. I started programming out of personal interest, but I hope that even those students with no past experience can learn the joys of programming through the classes we provide.

Digital Creators Club traP, an official Tokyo Tech Student Club, was established in April 2015. The club focuses on various activities including game programming, digital and audio content creation, 2D illustrations and 3D modeling, pixel graphics, competitive programming, and cybersecurity capture the flag competitions. traP shares its knowledge through various public engagement activities, including game creation exchange events and programming classes for middle and high school students.

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