Alice Animation Beta testing at Pittsburgh FLL Tournament
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Animation of 3D objects provides an engaging and highly creative activity for students from middle school to college. Underlying the animation context is the intent to introduce fundamental programming concepts, such as sequencing, decision making and repetition. Younger students develop an intuitive understanding of object-oriented concepts such as classes, objects, methods and inheritance. With experience, older students develop a more in-depth understanding of classes, objects, methods, and inheritance by applying these skills and concepts in a transition to a professional, object-oriented production language, such as Java or Python.
Our primary goal is to enable students to acquire problem solving and computational thinking skills in the context of authoring animations. Specifically, these skills include:
- Designing with storyboards to script a story, perform a task, or play a game
- Creating a 3D virtual scene, containing objects (characters and props)
- Implementing a program (writing code to animate objects in a scene)
- Using procedural decomposition (breaking down a complex action into simpler actions)
- Using functional decomposition (breaking down a complex computation into simpler computations)
- Testing a program (running code with varying conditions and data)
- Revising a design and reimplementing, as needed
In Phase 1, we will focus on providing the online instructional materials necessary to make it possible for younger students without prior knowledge of Alice or computer programming to successfully create beginner level animation programs. These instructional materials will include everything from downloading, installing, and running Alice3, to learning how to use the system, to creating a virtual world scene, to learning fundamental programming constructs.
In addition, we will provide a web infrastructure to support submitting and hosting Alice3 programs on alice.org. These capabilities will enable us to create and test-run a pilot Alice Animation Festival, ideally in coordination with the FIRST LEGO League.
Alice Webinars coming Spring 2011!
Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Academy will be offering webinars on how to get started with programming in Alice. More details about the webinar coming soon!
Alice can be found at www.alice.org.
There are several alice programming materials available. Below you will find links on books and tutorials for Alice: