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Experts from the Pix­el IT school for chil­dren and teenagers have gath­ered in one place the best direc­tions for immers­ing your­self in pro­gram­ming from an ear­ly age. In the arti­cle, you will find out what school­child­ren from the age of 6 are study­ing in pro­grams such as Scratch and Scratch Junior, Kodu Game Lab, Minecraft, Roblox Stu­dio, Uni­ty, as well as in HTML and CSS web­site devel­op­ment class­es.

Scratch and Scratch Junior

Age: from 8 to 12 years old.

What is it: Scratch is a pro­gram­ming lan­guage that was cre­at­ed specif­i­cal­ly for chil­dren’s learn­ing. The child devel­ops IT skills in a spe­cial visu­al pro­gram­ming envi­ron­ment, which resem­bles a Lego con­struc­tor in terms of its block inter­face. It is pos­si­ble to cre­ate sim­ple com­put­er games in Scratch, as well as ani­ma­tions. Scratch Junior is a light ver­sion of the pro­gram that is suit­able for younger chil­dren aged 6–8.

What are they study­ing: Chil­dren under­stand math­e­mat­i­cal oper­a­tions, cre­ate sim­ple game menus, set up char­ac­ter speech syn­the­sis and work with visu­al effects.

Kodu Game Lab

Age: from 6 to 9 years old.

What is it: Kids at Kodu Game Lab cre­ate 3D worlds in a play­ful way. The pro­gram is designed so that stu­dents do not need addi­tion­al knowl­edge of pro­gram­ming lan­guages, only the block lan­guage Kodu. The toolk­it is sim­ple enough for even the youngest kids to try their hand at game devel­op­ment.

What are they study­ing: This is a con­struc­tor for future IT-spe­cial­ists of the game indus­try. Stu­dents delve into game algo­rithms, design entire worlds, cre­ate main and sec­ondary char­ac­ters, come up with plots, sce­nar­ios, and most impor­tant­ly, study gen­res and game mechan­ics.

Python in Minecraft

Age: from 9 to 13 years old.

What is it: among young fans of online games pop­u­lar Minecraft — a game in the “sand­box” genre. In the vir­tu­al world, users can cre­ate any­thing thanks to end­less pos­si­bil­i­ties: from a small house to an entire city. In addi­tion to tools and a field for cre­ativ­i­ty, pro­gram­ming lan­guages ​​can be used in Minecraft. In the class­room, chil­dren learn to code in Python with­out leav­ing their favorite game.

What are they study­ing: Future pro­gram­mers inside the vir­tu­al world cre­ate 2D and 3D fig­ures, as well as char­ac­ters with arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence. More expe­ri­enced stu­dents write more than 100 lines of code to cre­ate a great game inside Minecraft and then play it with friends.

Roblox Studio

Age: from 9 to 14 years old.

What is it: Roblox is an online plat­form where users can not only explore end­less game worlds, but also cre­ate their own. To man­age the game envi­ron­ment in Roblox Stu­dio, chil­dren use the Lua pro­gram­ming lan­guage.

What are they study­ing: The guys first learn how to cre­ate blocks inside the plat­form, and then work with shad­ows, ani­ma­tion of char­ac­ters and objects, tex­tures, and com­plex spe­cial effects.

Unity

Age: from 10 to 14 years old.

What is it: Uni­ty is a cross-plat­form envi­ron­ment for devel­op­ing any game. This is a com­plete tool for future gam­ing devel­op­ment engi­neers.

What are they study­ing: With the help of the C# lan­guage, stu­dents cre­ate the inter­face of a future game, think over game mechan­ics, char­ac­ters, and dif­fi­cul­ty lev­els. There is no con­struc­tor or visu­al pro­gram­ming in this pro­gram, chil­dren write lines of code, as adult IT spe­cial­ists do.

Creation of sites on HTML and CSS

Age: from 12 years old.

What is it: If the pre­vi­ous pro­grams are aimed at immers­ing your­self in pro­gram­ming through the cre­ation of games, then this one is close­ly relat­ed to web devel­op­ment. HTML is the foun­da­tion of many web­sites, while CSS is the style sheet.

What are they study­ing: Any site con­sists of a set of clas­sic ele­ments: visu­al, text and ele­ments. The chil­dren learn how to cor­rect­ly place the com­po­nents of the site, man­age ele­ments and fonts, as well as add inter­ac­tive blocks and build a clear nar­ra­tive struc­ture.

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You can learn more about each direc­tion by watch­ing these video tuto­ri­als. If your child often sits at a com­put­er or asks a lot of ques­tions about the Inter­net and games, then pro­gram­ming is his area. Chil­dren are tech-savvy, more inter­est­ed than us in how games, pro­grams and appli­ca­tions work. It is eas­i­er for them to learn new top­ics and direc­tions due to a large sup­ply of ener­gy and involve­ment.

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