Alice Animation is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a freely available teaching tool designed to be a student’s first exposure to object-oriented programming. It allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games. In Alice, 3-D objects (e.g., people, animals, and vehicles) populate a virtual world and students create a program to animate the objects. (www.alice.org)
Scope of Curriculum
You can view our Music Video curriculum here, or our Video Game curriculum here.
YWiC first incorporated the Programming with Alice curriculum in the 2006 summer camp for high school students. This animation curriculum has been a camp staple and is taught the entire duration of the camp, excluding the first days set aside for Core Concepts. The course had previously been taught by professors and graduate students, but is now shifting into undergraduate hands.
Concepts are taught to students daily, including (but not limited to) objects, conditionals, loops, events, and methods. For the first half of the lessons, instructors and students build the same project in order to learn a concept. During the second part of the lessons, students work on their own projects using the concept taught that day. Over the course of four weeks, students complete their own Alice music video project and video game project. Instruction usually lasts approximately 1-1.5 hours for 9-10 days, for a total of 9-15 hours of instruction. Teaching time will vary depending on class size and student’s prior knowledge of computational thinking concepts.
Below are examples of two music videos created in Alice by members of YWiC.
For more information about Alice, project ideas, or to download this software, visit the Alice website.
Participants learn how to program in Storytelling Alice and create projects/stories based on what is learned. Campers meet in groups of 2 or 3 to promote communication and interactive skills. When teaching them how to create or modify methods and loops, the camp instructors also teach the basics of for loops and while loops, conditionals, and how to count and convert numbers in binary. At the end of the Storytelling Alice session, students present their final projects, explain what is used, and how to implement events, loops, etc.
Scope of Curriculum
Storytelling Alice was first included in YWiC’s summer camp for middle school girls in 2011. This curriculum has become an essential part of our camps, and is typically taught to students by undergraduate students over a period of 5-7 days. Teaching and student experimentation typically lasts from 1.5-2 hours per day, for a total of 7.5-14 hours – this time will vary based on class size and students’ prior knowledge of computational thinking concepts.
A different concept is taught to students daily, including (but not limited to) objects, conditionals, loops, events, and methods. Instructors usually create and show a small Storytelling Alice project that demonstrates the concept that will be taught. For the first part of the lesson, instructors and students build the same project in order to learn a concept. For the second part of the lesson, students work on their own project using the concept taught that day. At the end of the teaching period, students will have completed two projects: the “group” project that everyone works on to learn the concepts, and their own personal project where they put what they’ve learned into action.
To view the PowerPoint we use for instruction, click here! Also, you can view the step-by-step instructions we use to create a project with the campers.
To view the students’ final project guidelines, click here! Below is an example project that a student might create using Storytelling Alice.
For more information about Storytelling Alice, project ideas, or to download this software, visit the Storytelling Alice website.
East Picacho Elementary
In a collaboration with East Picacho Elementary school and Enrich the Kids, YWiC established an 8-week, after-school computing program that brought together 20 students in grades 3rd – 5th. YWiC taught basic computational concepts using Storytelling Alice, and included story-board outlines, teamwork, and presentation skill development.
Check out the lesson plans we used here.