Kids’ Corner is a student-centric site with a variety of STEM learning resources like games designed to teach programming, a library of free STEM-related books, and AP Computer Science A study resources.
Kids’ Corner started out just as a resources hub where I put some of the games I had developed for TeCanal there, as well as a STEM library that connected to a Firebase database that held cover images and download links to all of the books. Eventually I realized the Firebase was overkill, and just switched to a JSON file that held all the information.
Over the COVID-19 pandemic I realized that Kids’ Corner had real potential, and it was right around the time that TeCanal was planning to pilot a summer “internship” program, where volunteers would work on a project over a 5 week period over the summer. I was able to pitch a Software Development Internship Program to the Board of Directors, one where the interns would be able to work on one or two games on Kids’ Corner.
The projects the interns worked on were:
- Binary Explorer: Study Mode
- Binary Explorer already existed within a lesson-supporting web application context, but our intern had a great idea to create an story mode in order to make the user want to interact with the application, to make it more like a game. The idea that he ended up running with was that you are a hacker and you have to decode and encode various words or phrases in order to pass levels.
- Square Wars: Math Edition
- This was a game written using Canvas that this intern was already making in his free time, but he had the idea of integrating math problems between rounds of the game that the student would need to solve if they wanted to advance in the game. This made it less of a math game, and more like a game with math in it, which was a great addition to diversify our library of educational games.
- SpeedyMath Re-Write
- SpeedyMath was the first game that I ever wrote for TeCanal, and as a result was a disaster of a legacy codebase, so this intern was able to add more functionality to the game while also reducing the overall lines of code and complexity of the codebase.
- Cybersecurity Study Materials
- This intern’s specific interests lay within Cybersecurity, so their project was to assemble some reading material to allow the user to study and take some interactive quizzes to learn the basics of cybersecurity.
- Symphony Conductor
- This project came from an idea that the intern applied to our internship program with, it was such a fun idea that it was the reason I accepted them. The student can learn histories of instruments, while also making rhythms or songs with code.
- Type Racer + Type Shooter Re-Writes
- Type Racer and Type Shooter both existed in a mostly-working state, but this intern really re-worked the internals of these programs to make them have adjustable difficulty, as well as better looking visuals and a better overall user experience.
- Graph Guesser
- This is a game that shows the student a graph and with their knowledge of modifiers and shifters within equations, they must guess the equation of the graph shown.
- Fraction Bingo
- This is a game where the student is provided fractions to add, subtract, multiply, or simplify and the answers are on their bingo board somewhere. This project was developed by an intern who, upon working with students, realized that they often struggled with operations with fractions.