Press Release

DK’s Computer Coding series expands with Projects in Scratch

Computer coding is a subject on the minds of families across the country. Schools are integrating coding into curricula and libraries are installing makerspaces for computer projects and tinkering, and as a result, educators are clamoring for resources that break down this intimidating topic. Though print media may not be the obvious companion to a computer-based subject, DK’s hardworking, step-by-step books have proved a perfect fit, making an approachable entry point to coding that Booklist calls “foolproof.”

The latest additions to DK’s series of computer coding books are Coding Projects in Scratch and Coding in Scratch: Projects Workbook, to be released July 5, 2016.

Using fun graphics and easy-to-follow instructions, Coding Projects in Scratch teaches essential coding and programming skills to young learners. The simple, logical steps are fully illustrated with Minecraft-style pixel art and build on the basics of coding, so that you have the skills to make whatever kind of project you can dream up. The 18 featured projects include a personalized birthday card; a “tunnel of doom” multiplayer game; dinosaur dance party animation with flashing lights, music, and dance moves; and much more. Coding in Scratch: Projects Workbook is a complementary practice book filled with open-ended projects that use art, music, and sound effects, plus a time tables quiz to test knowledge, perfect for young coders to work through from beginning to end or dip into based on their interests.

As children create with Scratch, they learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically, along with building vital skills in one of the fastest-growing industries.

About the Author

Dr. Jon Woodcock has a degree in Physics from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Computational Astrophysics from the University of London. He started coding at the age of eight and has programmed all kinds of computers from single-chip microcontrollers to world-class supercomputers. His many projects include giant space simulations, research in high-tech companies, and intelligent robots made from junk. Jon has a passion for science and technology education, giving talks on space and running computer programming clubs in schools. He has worked on numerous science and technology books as a contributor and consultant, including DK’s Help Your Kids with Computer Coding.

For review copies and interview requests, please contact:

Jennifer Bastien, Publicist, jennifer.bastien@dk.com 646-674-4049

 

Coming July 5, 2016

Coding Projects in Scratch
9781465451422
$19.99 / 224 pp / Paperback

Coding in Scratch Projects Workbook
9781465444028
$5.99 / 40 pp / Paperback

Also Available

Coding Games in Scratch
9781465439352
$19.99 / 40 pp / Paperback
“An absolutely wonderful introduction to programming games.” —Kirkus Reviews
 

“Clear instructions and plenty of images that make coding just about foolproof.” —Booklist

 

DK Workbooks: Coding Games in Scratch Workbook
9781465444820
$5.99 / 40 pp / Paperback

“This 40-page full-color workbook is perfect.” —GeekDad.com

 

Help Your Kids with Computer Coding
9781465419569
$19.95 / 224 pp / Paperback

Family Choice Award Winner

TECH/prep by Facebook recommended resource.

“Just the thing I needed to give my daughter a jump start on programming.” —GeekDad.com

 

DK Workbooks: Computer Coding
9781465426857
$5.99 / 40 pp / Paperback

 

DK Workbooks: Coding with Scratch
9781465443922
$5.99 / 40 pp / Paperback

 

DK is the bestselling and award-winning publisher known for informing, entertaining, and educating global audiences through beautifully designed content. DK also publishes the Eyewitness series for children and Eyewitness Travel Guides. Prima Games, Alpha Books, and Rough Guides are also available from DK, a division of Penguin Random House. www.dk.com

 

Q&A with Author Jon Woodcook

DK: Aren’t computer games just a waste of time? 
Jon Woodcock: Kids love playing computer games, which makes them a great way to create interest in programming. It’s an obvious next step to want to know how games work and what’s going on under the covers. Using a great tool like Scratch, it’s very easy to take game players and turn them into excited creators of games in just a few minutes. Most kids have a few ideas for computer games, and knowing what you’d like to achieve but not quite how to do it is a real motivator for learning.

DK: You started coding when you were eight—why? What were the first things you coded?
JW: My dad is an engineer, and when I was young he worked with folks keen to explore the new technology of the first home computers. It was very much like the Maker movement today, lots of people experimenting and building just for the joy of it. I got swept up into the whole thing and was exposed to cutting-edge technology, in a really supportive environment. It was natural to want to be able to create and control things—and to do that you needed to learn to program. I got a book on programming from the library and taught myself on paper. Eventually my family cracked and bought a very early kit computer. From then on I was programming 24/7—games of all sorts were my favorite, but I also loved more abstract challenges like creating a spinning cube on screen, or generating prime numbers.

DK: Is it useful for kids who aren’t going to become programmers or engineers to learn to code? 
JW: Look around you at today’s world—computers are everywhere: in your home, your car, at your work/school, even in your pockets. And with the Internet of Things, even your fridge and trainers will have computers inside. We are living in the world of the computers. Being able to program a computer is like speaking another language—it enables an understanding of and access to a culture that you just won’t get if you can’t communicate on equal terms. An understanding of programming changes the way you think about and interact with the modern world.

DK: Do you think it’s a good idea to implement coding as part of school curriculum? 
JW: It’s long overdue. There is a huge shift in education across the globe to transform kids from being consumers to being creators and innovators. Initiatives like the Raspberry Pi, Code Club, and Hour of Code have brought coding to the attention of politicians. Cheap programmable devices are popping up everywhere, allowing kids to experiment and explore technology without the traditional limits. Our world is made of information, and “computational thinking” is a key skill for life today. The ability to break down and analyze problems and data in logical ways is vital—and that is at the very core of learning to program.


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