Coding Football? There Are no Limits to the Organizers’ Creativity!

One of the biggest challenges for Meet and Code organizers is to devise a compelling event that interests young participants. The Meet and Code Award 2018 winners in the Kick and Code category found a great way to capture kids’ attention! Coding Football? Yes, it is possible!

Connecting Coding and Football

“The most difficult part was to find a way to link programming to football” – says Istvan Bukos, the programming coordinator from Asociatia Pro Teodor Murasanu, Romania, the organizer of the “Scratch and… Goooal!” event for 20 kids. “Secondly, we needed to ensure a sufficient level of competence in programing, so that pupils could simulate, even in a simplified form, different types of football attack through a program in Scratch.”

The participants of “Scratch and… Goooal!” first learned to program in Scratch, printed out the code and transferred it to a football field. The winners were the team that correctly executed the code’s commands and scored goals.

The number of possible moves was reduced to adjust the level of difficulty to the ability of children. 40% of the participants were the coding beginners.



“I loved the programming language, but also playing with the ball and making friends. It was difficult to make the route on the computer, because it was something new. We had some problems with the orientation, but our teachers helped us a lot. Without them we could not have done that.” Julia, 9 years old

Impact

News about the Turda event spread around the area. Several school principals in Turda and the surrounding villages have already shown their interest in involving their schools in such projects.

“With this project we managed to increase the community’s trust in us. The number of students who want to follow a course in programming also increased. We have now confidence in our capacities and we intend to expand this event to a large group-target. For the next school year we’ve already proposed a project on programmed-football in which we involve 8 school institutions.” – says Gabriela Ileana Crisan, project coordinator.

Game simulation in Scratch

Team behind the event: Gabriela Ileana Crisan (PhD, project coordinator), Istvan Bukos (programming coordinator), Arpad Sipos (football coordinator). Other members: Felicia Oaida, Lenta Adamosy (children’s teachers), Gianina Silvia Matei, Carmen Szekely (school headmasters)