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Hackers is a seasonal program that offers a variety of code-based
classes sure to stimulate your child's mind! From beginner
level classes to more advanced game and mod by coding classes,
there is something for everyone!
Run entirely by local school teacher John Hendrick, Backyard
Hackers teaches computer science through the creation of fun games
and projects. The classes introduce Java programming,
Minecraft, role-playing video games, and the Unity game
engine. Class content is age appropriate, serving kids as
young as 6, up through high school age. These opportunities
increase a child's comfort with computer science, helping them feel
confident enough to continue to explore CS in high school and
beyond. With a focus on creating games, kids remain more
engaged, by focusing on the fun things they can do through
"These classes are the best thing I do all summer." -
Patrick, Age 12
"The excitement and energy is palpable during the
classes. Kids bounce in, excited to find out what's
next. I know that we'll be able to continue to give them
something to look forward to in future summers." - John Hendrick,
Founder / Instructor
Recommended Ages: 6+
Modding for Little Crafters
This is a simpler version of our most popular class, for
the youngest hackers. Ever wanted to paint your own
zombie? Feel your way around advanced graphic design programs
by designing your own tools, creature and blocks, and even animate
in Minecraft! Students learn how to draw, select, erase, smudge,
and shade. They'll create their own simple mod of Minecraft
that can be played on a PC or Mac.
A beginner-level class using the Scratch programming
language. Students will drag and drop blocks into position to build
their code. During the class, we'll create a four games that
students will be able to share with friends and family using the
Scratch community! This class is ideal for anyone who's interested
in seeing what coding is all about. Students as young as 8 and as
old as 13 have thoroughly enjoyed this 5 hour class.
We'll be your helpful older sibling, with less
bickering. Minecraft is a dense, complicated game. Let
us make it less mysterious for your kiddo. In fact, we're
encouraging parents to sign up with their kids! One registration
will be necessary for each person coming along. Come learn
how to play with your child (or leave them at home). We'll
show new Minecraft players how to move and interact with the world,
craft necessary items, fight the different mobs and explore the
Nether and End. Maybe we'll even take a crack at defeating
the Ender Dragon!
Recommended Ages: 9+
Mod Minecraft 1
Our most popular class! Don't just play
Minecraft! Become a modder! Use the Java programming
language to make your own materials, armor, tools, biome and
mobs! No experience is necessary to share your unique
Minecraft world with your friends!
Mod Minecraft 2
The direct sequel to our original modding class!
Students will work on the same mod they've developed this summer
(yes, they should have taken Mod Minecraft 1 this summer.)
Continue your modding adventure as we make throwable items (that
could explode), a simple custom structure, tame and mod the dragon,
while riding it and shooting fireballs (that could explode),
animate tools, and build our own dimension (that could explode --
not really, well maybe.)
RPG Maker 1
Take a Hero's Journey. This might be the most fun
class available. Create your very own role-playing game in
the style of Final Fantasy VI or Pokemon. Build your own
world, have your own adventure, and tell your own story! In this
game-design and story-telling class you'll create your very own
game that you can share with friends and family. They'll be
able to play your game on their own computers!
Command Blocks: An Adventure
Learn how to use special, double-secret command blocks in
Minecraft to create a simple adventure and tell a story.
Command blocks allow users to take control of their world, and
we'll show the kids the programming skills necessary to take
control. In this class, the kids will tell a heroic story of
a player who overcomes obstacles on the way to defeating a terrible
monster who's been terrorizing a village -- all in Minecraft!
Best of all, they'll be able to continue developing their story at
home on their own Minecraft account. Let life be an adventure
Minecraft Server Design: Plugins
Playing online is a blast. Have you ever wondered
how most of the special features are carried out? Why do
online servers have more commands? How does teleporting
work? Why was that zombie able to catch up to me, and why did
it drop a diamond sword? This is class to take if you want to
unlock those secrets. In Server Design: Plugins the kids will
use one of the most current versions of Minecraft and the Java
programming language to create their own plugins, which could then
be used on their own servers. (We will not be setting up
servers for the students at home.) This is the class you've
been waiting for.
Recommended Ages: 12+
Unity: Platform Game
In this class, students will use the Unity Game Engine to
make very simple games like Super Mario Brothers or Metroid.
Students will learn how to import and use resources, program their
games and create the menu systems they'll need. The games
will be shareable outside of class and could be passed along to
friends and family. This is one of the most satisfying
classes we have. The games look surprisingly professional and
Mode Minecraft 3
Let's break Minecraft! This is not a sequel to the
other modding classes. This is a new experience with much
more coding from scratch. We break out a newer, more
complicated version of Minecraft for our most involved modding
class. If they've taken one of the other Java programming
classes, the kids should be ready for this one, as long as they can
type about 20 words per minute without looking at their
In this class, the kids will learn about core Java concepts like
inheritance, constructors, and more conditional logic.
They'll extend and override Java libraries while doing things like
creating mounts, messing with the world and modeling new
mobs! This class is for the most adventurous hackers.
Ready to become a Backyard Hacker? See full
class details and register online here!
Phone: (920) 832-5905
Fax: (920) 993-3103
100 N. Appleton St.
Appleton, WI 54911
Office: Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
and enriching lives where we live, work and play."
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