Use mac to Create Something Fun

Your kids need something (problem solving) more fun than video games

Call me “Donald” if you think that “Golden Thumb” doesn’t sounds like a name of human being. Yes it’s the same “Donald” in “Donald Trump”. You might not believe it but it is true: both Donalds visited Jerusalem on the same day, May 22, 2017. Trump Visits Israel: Donald Trump Becomes First Sitting President to Visit Jerusalem’s Old City. I also ate a lot of McDonald, possibly because it swallowed my name. :-D

Marius, Lucas, Lambert, Ethan, Andy, Peter, Grace, Elaine, Angie and Hal, ranging from grade 3 to grade 7, live in different places of the world. They are all my “close”, in the sense of “connected over internet”, friends, and enjoy building fun things on mac with their math and logic skills. They even push their code onto GibHub regularly like professionals.

If they can do it so can you. You DO NOT have to know anything about coding. The focus is on problem solving, reasoning, math skill, etc. instead of programming language itself. I am going to help you set up everything, not much actually, so you can start tackling math problems like “how to centre a grid inside the larger rectangle”, “how to convert screen coordinates (123.0, 234.0) to logical coordinates (3, 5) of chess board” or “what features I want to add into my apps”.

Let me show you some examples first.

Ethan made his first app without writing a single line of code. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Ethan had only “rectangle”.

if all you have is a rectangle …

Marius loves chess so much. He was so eager to build his own app to play with.

unfinished but playable

Lucas used an image of a piece to show whose turn.

top piece is used to show whose turn

Lambert had a much deeper understanding of coordinates system after drawing a game board.

everything starts from small …

Andy created a 14x14 gomoku board. He had to figure out how to centre the grid using his mathematical still. A simple for loop is needed to simplify horizontal lines and vertical lines.

14x14 gomoku board with 2 round pieces

Peter implemented connect 4 within a few days, completely on his own.

working connect 4 game by Peter only

Grace added 2 text fields to save 24 game points for both players.

24 game playable wherever you go

Elaine would play her snake game using 4 buttons.

snake controlled by 4 buttons

Angie tried some circles after drawing lines. Letting each circle sit at right intersection turned out to be a small challenge to her.

5 circles on the first column

Hal wrote tons of unit test cases to straighten out tricky logic of each rotation of layers in Rubik’s cube.

a Rubik’s cube in pocket

Indexing 54 squares is not a small challenge to Peter.

Peter’s indexing plan

Grace has a good sense of 2-D layout.

Grace’s elegant shapes and lines

Sometimes they are just kidding.

you can do whatever you like — only the sky is the limit

Huge pieces

huge pieces

or normal ones,

Peter moved 14 pieces to show perfectly drawn “stars” on board

everything is under our control.

The big takeaway is that we only care about how to draw a perfect game board, how to centre the board on screen based on calculation instead of guessing, how to draw lines or shapes efficiently, how to sit each piece at its exact location, how to determine which colour square goes where when the Rubik’s cube turns, ..., but NOT the computer, the programming language, the syntax etc.

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1-on-1 tutor of chosen kids

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1-on-1 tutor of chosen kids

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