6th Grade – 8th Grade

Resources

Learning tools for middle school students

Hardware

LEGO Mindstorms
Create small, customizable and programmable robots using LEGO pieces.

Pleo Robot
A Pleo is a robotic baby dinosaur that has life-like behaviors. You can program the Pleo using MySkit, Pawn, or YAPT. Programming a Pleo is a good early introduction to artificial intelligence, robotics, and event-driven programming.

Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming.

Snap Circuits
Snap Circuits is a line of electronic kits manufactured by Elenco Electronics and aimed at children eight years and older. The kits come in a variety of sizes, offering a range of building experience for the user, and may include motors, lamps and speakers. The kits consist of a breadboard with pre-wired interconnections, into which the various components can be snapped to easily create a working circuit.

Wonder Workshop
Digital programming language for kids 5+ that weaves in music, stories and animation. Learn coding by looking at and tweaking the code behind the visual interface.

Software

App Inventor
Web-based program development tool that even beginners with no prior programming experience can use to create mobile applications.

Audacity 
Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. The interface is translated into many languages. You can use Audacity to record live audio, convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs, edit WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP2, MP3 or Ogg Vorbis sound files, cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together, change the speed or pitch of a recording.

Bebras Challenge
Over two million students from 30 countries have already participated in the Bebras Challenge over the past five years. Now it is available in the USA as well! Every student that participates in this free online quiz gets a score that shows their aptitude for computational thinking and teachers receive detailed statistical analyses of their students’ score. That way, it enables encouragement of the discovered interest or aptitude.

Blockly
Blockly is a web-based, graphical programming editor. Users can drag blocks together to build an application. No typing required.

Code.org
Learn the basic concepts of Computer Science with drag and drop programming. This is a game-like, self-directed tutorial starring video lectures by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies. Learn repeat-loops, conditionals, and basic algorithms. Available in 34 languages.

Code Avengers
Code Avengers has free interactive online courses that teach the basics of web design and computer programming, in a way that makes learning fun and effective.

Codecademy
Free online programming tutorials.

CodeCombat
Play as a Wizard using code (spells) to control your heroes, navigate mazes, defeat ogres, trick enemies, and rescue allies! Learn JavaScript in this HTML 5 web game for complete beginners.

Daisy the Dinosaur 
Daisy the Dinosaur by Hopscotch Technologies introduces children to basic computer programming.

Educational Robots for Absolute Beginners
The Rowan University Laboratory for Educational Robotics has developed a new course designed to give K-12 educators a gentle introduction to the NXT-G programing language. NXT-G is a scratch-like visual programming language that (combined with the physicality of a robot and the familiarity that most people have with LEGO) we hope will be attractive to people who are new to programming.

FramebyFrame
FramebyFrame is a basic application to create stopmotion with your webcam.

GameMaker
The GameMaker software allows users to easily develop computer games without the requirement of prior computer programming experience, while allowing advanced users to create complex applications much faster than possible with most other programming languages with its built-in scripting language. The session includes a history of gaming, a group activity, and a hands-on GameMaker exercise.

GIMP
Gimp (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an image retouching and editing tool and is released under the GPLv3 license as free and open-source software. There are versions tailored for most operating systems including Linux, OS X, and Microsoft Windows.

Hopscotch
iPad programming app for kids.

IT Hare
With its own language and jargon, programming can seem completely overwhelming and confusing to a newcomer. Well, not only do programmers have their own language, they use several languages, each with its own vocabulary and grammar. Here, you can find a high-level overview of some of the more commonly-used languages.

Javascript for Kids
The JavaScript for Kids book is a lighthearted introduction that teaches programming essentials through patient, step-by-step examples paired with funny illustrations. You’ll begin with the basics, like working with strings, arrays, and loops, and then move on to more advanced topics, like building interactivity with jQuery and drawing graphics with Canvas.

Khan Academy
Students can make use of the extensive video library, interactive challenges, and assessments from any computer with access to the web.

KidsRuby
KidsRuby makes it fun and easy to learn how to program.

Kodable
Kodable teaches kids the basics of any programming language in a fun game! Completely self-guided and designed for kids 5 and up.

Kodu Game Lab
Kodu lets kids create games on the PC and XBox via a simple visual programming language. Kodu can be used to teach creativity, problem solving, storytelling, as well as programming. Anyone can use Kodu to make a game, young children as well as adults with no design or programming skills.

Kojo
Kojo is an open source App that runs on Linux, Windows, and the Mac. It is a Learning Environment – with many different features that enable play, exploration, creation, and learning in the areas of Computer Programming, Math, Science, Systematic and Computational Thinking, Art, Music, Creative Thinking and Computer and Internet Literacy.

Lightbot 2.0
Lightbot 2.0 is a free programming game that is played through a web browser. Through simple commands, players learn about programming, functions, recursion, and conditionals.

Mozilla Thimble
Thimble creates and hosts web pages for novice HTML authors, as part of the Mozilla webmaker initiative.

Pickle
Pickle is a cross-platform pixel editor for creating game animations, tiles and sprite sheets. Pickle is optimized for the Flixel framework, but it loads and saves images in JPG, PNG and GIF formats so it can be used for other game frameworks as well.

Pinta
Pinta is a free, open source drawing/editing program modeled after Paint.NET. Its goal is to provide users with a simple yet powerful way to draw and manipulate images on Linux, Mac, and Windows.

RoboMind Academy
Students learn the basics of programming by controlling their own virtual robot. The online course is fully self-contained with short presentations, movies, quizzes and automatic guidance/hints to help with the programming exercises.

Scratch
The Rowan University Laboratory for Educational Robotics has developed a new course designed to give K-12 educators a gentle introduction to the NXT-G programing language. NXT-G is a scratch-like visual programming language that (combined with the physicality of a robot and the familiarity that most people have with LEGO) we hope will be attractive to people who are new to programming.

SketchNation
Game creation app for iPad.

Starlogo
StarLogo is a programmable modeling environment for exploring the workings of decentralized systems — systems that are organized without an organizer, coordinated without a coordinator. With StarLogo, you can model (and gain insights into) many real-life phenomena, such as bird flocks, traffic jams, ant colonies, and market economies.

StopMotion Café
Simple, powerful stop-motion and TIME-LAPSE application. Capture sequences of images and create a movie. Pick the Images touching the screen or with time intervals, edit and create your movie to export to Camera Roll.

Stencyl
Stencyl isn’t your average game creation software; it’s a gorgeous, intuitive toolset that accelerates your workflow and then gets out of the way. We take care of the essentials, so you can focus on what’s important – making your game yours.

Tynker
Tynker is a new computing platform designed specifically to teach children computational learning and programming skills in a fun and imaginative way.

W3 Schools
Learn how to make a website with free tutorials in all web development technologies.

Unplugged

Code Monkey Island
Code Monkey Island is a board game designed for families. It takes about a minute to learn the rules and 45 minutes to play, and exposes kids to fundamental programming concepts like control structures, data structures, Boolean logic and operators, and assignment and mathematical operations.

Sew Electric
If you’re interested in interactive toys, smart accessories, or light-up fashions, this book is for you! Sew Electric is a set of hands-on LilyPad Arduino tutorials that bring together craft, electronics, and programming. The book walks you through the process of designing and making a series of quirky customizable projects including a sparkling bracelet, a glow in the dark bookmark, a fabric piano, and a monster that sings when you hold its hands. Play with cutting-edge technologies and learn sewing, programming, and circuit design along the way. It’s a book for all ages. Explore the projects with your friends, your parents, your kids, or your students!

What is the World Wide Web Video
Video for students explaining what the world wide web is and how it works.

K-12 RESOURCES

6th Grade – 8th Grade

Questions? Contact Us!