When my daughter was 9…

I had just finished reading “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. My favorite story from the book was when Randy was at Disney with his father and family. Randy said that because he had worked as a Disney Imagineer, he had a special trick to riding with the conductor up front. Randy’s Dad said, sure lets see this trick. Randy walked up and asked the conductor if they could ride up front. The conductor said “sure”.

I fell in love with Disney again that day and relayed the story to my daughter on how sometimes it is as simple as just asking for what you want.

We decided to do coding using Alice, an Object-oriented 3D programming environment. My daughter started playing with one of the examples where you click on a Penguin to have a musical note play.

My daughter played with it for a while I watched. She then proceeded to attach a keystroke to each penguin.

From left to right: Blue Penguin (“a”), Red Penguin (“s”), Yellow Penguin (“d”), Orange Penguin (“f”), Purple Penguin (“j”), Orange Penguin (“k”), Green Penguin (“l”) and Pink Penguin (“;”).

You may recognize these as the home keys when typing: ASDF JKL;

My daughter then proceeded to type various letters for a while to make sure everything was working correctly.

I left her for 15 minutes to continue to work on this. When I came back she was composing/improving an original musical score using the keys in various orders.

Proud Dad…

Nathan Detroit Edmundson tweets at: @NathanDetroitEd.

Checkout a new version of Alice first developed at the University of Virginia then Carnegie Mellon at Alice.org by a research group lead by Randy Pausch.

Image from Alice.org
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