Sunday, December 05, 2010

Homework Into Video Games, By Mackenzie

For science right now, we're studying atoms, molecules, and compounds and their properties. One of the things that the kids are supposed to do for this new Charter School program is to show "mastery" of the subject in many different ways: by writing papers, making models, drawing timelines, making illustrations, doing projects, etc. So when I asked Mackenzie how he wanted to illustrate the properties of matter, he suggested that he write a simple video game that allowed the user to see way the molecules move in the different states of water.

If you want to see it in action, you can download his game from Google Docs. It doesn't have any viruses, I promise. He programmed it in GameMaker 8, which he highly recommends. He says it allows you to do object-oriented programming, it's easy to learn, and you can make stand-alone executables like the simple one that he made for this project. You can even sell them (unlike stuff you make in programs like Scratch).

Leave it to this kid to find a way to turn something into a programming project. I have to say, it's pretty cool though. He wants to say a special thank-you to his Aunty Meese and Uncle Nick who gave him GameMaker for his birthday last year. Obviously, it's been put to good use!


Marcy said...

My daughter wanted to make sure your son knows about a program called Blender3d that can make 3d games and animations.

Andrea said...

This is so cool! My 10 year old and I just checked it out, and we are going to show it to my 9 year old when he gets up. I think we will have to check out Gamemaker 8. Thanks again A

Robin said...

I'll tell him to check out Blender3d, that sounds great!