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Computer Gaming Academy I

  • For students in grades 5-6
  • Course Description: Computer Gaming Academy I is a computer programming class that introduces foundational concepts such as inheritance, methods, objects, variables, randomness and conditional expressions within a Java-based game design framework called Greenfoot. In addition to programming concepts, students are introduced to fundamental game-design concepts such as collision detection, scoring, keyboard input and motion control within a dynamic two-dimensional environment. During the course, students work on group projects and self-directed projects. Students are encouraged to customize or to create original games based upon sample projects.
  • Essential Questions:
    1. What is a computer programming language and how does it talk to the computer?
    2. What distinguishes Java from other programming languages?
    3. Do computer games tell stories? What can we learn from making computer games?
    4. Why has the making of computer games always held such a fascination among computer programmers and engineers?
  • Outcomes: Upon successful completion of this course, students will:
    1. Have a broad understanding of foundational programming concepts, including inheritance, methods, operators, variables, loops, randomness and conditional expressions;
    2. Have a strong familiarity with the basic programming and editing features of the Greenfoot coding environment;
    3. Understand the multidisciplinary nature of game design, and understand how platform constraints and affordances lead to innovations;
    4. Create their own single- and multiplayer computer games.
  • Course Dates: September 29, 2012 - November 17, 2012 Morning session
  • Location: Evanston, IL
  • Requirements: Subject Area: Technology. Qualifying Score: Reading or Math.

Things You Might Want to Bring to Class

  • Headphones will be provided each Saturday, but you might prefer to use your own.
  • Flash drives are used by many students to save their work. You can also email your projects to yourself.
  • Notebook and pencil or pen can be used to take notes as you watch the Joy of Code videos.


  • The main reference for this course will be Michael Kölling's Joy of Code blog. You can use this site at home for information on how to download and install Greenfoot, to catch up on any lessons you missed, or to peek ahead at upcoming lessons.
  • There are more lessons and lots of sample projects on the Greenfoot web site
  • You might also enjoy this book: Kölling, Michael. Introduction to Java Programming with Greenfoot. ISBN 9780136037538. (optional).