Minecraft Level 2: Create Your Own Texture Packs

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Image via http://www.minecrafttexturepacks.com/

 

Skill Level: Level 2

Badges Earned: Minecraft Level 2

Description: In level 1 you created a world to solve a problem. Can the user experience be enhanced in any way? In level 2 you are going to create a custom texture pack that enhances a user’s Minecraft experience.

Background Info: There are several type of image files including .jpg, .gif, .png formats (next time you download an image, check which format you are saving). Minecraft maps .png images onto the blocks essentially giving them their look. This means that if you want to change how a block looks in Minecraft you need to modify the .png file(s) that maps to that block. Below is the grass block and it’s default side and top texture images.

2016-02-04_17.16.52 Grass Block Side Grass Block Top (x4 magnification)

Contrast with a grass block with custom texture images (Dragon Mount).

2016-02-04_17.17.59 grass_side grass_top (64px)

Notes: The default texture images shown above are magnified x4 to show detail. All default texture images in Minecraft are 16×16 pixels (actual sizes grass_side grass_top). Note that the Dragon Mount texture pack uses images that are 64×64 pixels, 4 times larger, which allows for more details. So why are the default textures only 16×16 pixels? Smaller file sizes take up less hard drive space, but more importantly, load much faster and there is less of a chance that the computer will lag. Those are definitely things to consider when designing you own texture pack. But feel free to experiment with different sizes. And though there are texture pack up to 512×512 pixels, those texture pack may require a more robust system to play on. The only requirement is that the images are square and .png.

Getting started: Sometimes a good way to start is to get inspiration. Click here to check out some texture packs created for our current version of Minecraft. After a little bit of exploration, don’t forget to fill out a challenge proposal.

Starter pack: One way to get going on your own texture pack is to edit a copy of the default texture pack. Click here to watch a tutorial on where to save, unzip, and rename the starter texture pack. You will need this link during the video.

Editing the pack: Use your preferred image editor such as Pixlr Editor or Photoshop for example. In this video you will see a tutorial on editing the texture pack using Photoshop.

Ideas:  Think outside the box on this one. Think about audience. Who is this world for? Could this be a service learning project or idea? Your job is to brainstorm and design that texture pack. Then share it! Create a YouTube Screencast of your world using your texture pack, using Screencastify for Chrome.

Some tips along the way: Take pictures of your final project, and get an instructor to visually check out your project, if you can. Create a video “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges. Only needs to be about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done, earn your badge!

 

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Computer Science Level 3: Create a Javascript Interactive

 

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Skill Level: Computer Science Level 3

Badges Earned: CS Level 3

Description: To earn your Computer Science Level 2 badge, you will need to complete one course in Codecademy.com and create an Javascript Interactive. This course is Javascript Basics You can preview the course here. One you’re done, you’ll use Mozilla’s Thimble website to create your choice of a number of Javascript interactives. Upload your evidence of completion for both the course (Codecademy profile link) and link to your thimble project, and you’re done!

[Note: if you already HAVE your Javascript badge- great! All you’ll need to do is go on to Part 2. Woo hoo!

Part 1:

Go to www.codecademy.com, sign up/in with Google, and start your learning adventure- now! Complete the Javascript course- and ask questions along the way. This can be done from anywhere (not just during STEAM time).

Part 2:

Go to https://thimble.mozilla.org/ and sign up (using your Google Account).

Now- choose one of the following fun Javascript interactives to complete:

Back to School Postcard. 

Homework Excuse Generator 

For each of these, to get your instructions, click on the Tutorial tab. It will walk you through each project.

Some tips along the way: Always document your process. Take pictures, screenshots, and video, if you can. Why? We suggest creating a “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges.

Now go get your badges!

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Computer Science Level 2: Create an HMTL Interactive

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Skill Level: Computer Science Level 2

Badges Earned: CS Level 2

Description: To earn your Computer Science Level 2 badge, you will need to complete one course in Codecademy.com and create an HTML Interactive. This course is HTML and CSS  You can preview the course here. One you’re done, you’ll use Mozilla’s Thimble website to create your choice of a number of HTML and CSS interactives. Upload your evidence of completion for both the course (Codecademy profile link) and link to your thimble project, and you’re done!

[Note: if you already HAVE your HTML/CSS badge- great! All you’ll need to do is go on to Part 2. Woo hoo!

Part 1: 

Go to www.codecademy.com, sign up/in with Google, and start your learning adventure- now! Complete that course- and ask questions along the way. This can be done from anywhere (not just during STEAM time).

Part 2: 

Go to https://thimble.mozilla.org/ and sign up (using your Google Account).

Now- choose one of the following HTML / CSS interactives to complete:

Keep Calm on Carry on Remix

Create Your Own Comic

My Six Word Summer Remix

For each of these, to get your instructions, click on the Tutorial tab. It will walk you through each project.

Some tips along the way: Always document your process. Take pictures, screenshots, and video, if you can. Why? We suggest creating a “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges.

Earn Your Badges: When you’re done. you’ll earn the badges below:

Now, go get your badges! 

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Consumer Science Level 3: Create a Manifesto With Vinyl

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Skill Level: Level 3

Badges Earned: Consumer Science 3

Description: Almost every company has what is called a mission statement. Quest Academy has one hanging up on a sign in the foyer and also on its website.  Google’s mission is on their About page. More and more, companies are going beyond missions, and creating what is called a Manifesto. Manifestos are culture documents- that encompass many different beliefs by an entire group of people. These manifestos have evolved into works of art. You can google “company manifesto” and get treated to lots of interesting ones. Check out these:

Company Manifestos:

Lululemon: http://www.lululemon.com/about/manifesto 

A Video Manifesto from Acumen: http://acumen.org/manifesto/

Community Manifestos: 

How about a manifesto that represents a community? Like Women Business Owners? Or a group of innovators?

Women in Business Manifesto

The Expert Enough Manifesto

Personal Manifestos:

The Linchpin Manifesto

Holstee Manifesto

Part 1: Get Your Vinyl Cutting Badge 

If you haven’t got your Vinyl Cutter badge- GO HERE and get that badge!

Part 2: Decide on a type

After looking at all the above options, decide whether you’re going to create a personal manifesto, a community manifesto, or a company (or organization) manifesto. If you want to do a Company manifesto- are there some local companies that you could reach out to, to help them create theirs? Family member that has a personal business with a decent customer base?

We recommend creating a community manifesto or one that represents a group. How about one that represents “young women of the future” or “innovative kids.”

Part 3: Create a Survey

If you decide to go a Community, Group, or Company manifesto- create a Google form survey with three fill in the blank questions. Example question:

What is one word you would use to describe Quest students? ________________

You can then use those survey quotes and one word responses to create a Manifesto Graphic like above. If you make a community or group manifesto – you absolutely have to get words and belief statements from the groups you’re representing. For

Part 4: Create Your Vector Graphic. 

Before we dive into a graphics program, let’s make sure we know what vector art is:

Using Adobe Illustrator on a PC, Pixlr, Google Drawings or Corel Draw- create a piece of vector art. SKETCH THIS OUT FIRST. This will be one color artwork that will cut out nicely on the vinyl cutter. It should have clear edges and not extremely small lines (as those may not pull out of the vinyl printer very nicely).

Remember that the output size of your final piece of artwork doesn’t have to just conform to one sheet of vinyl paper (12″ x 24″), but could use multiple sheets to fill up an entire doorway, large plate glass window, or other large wall.

Some tips along the way: Take pictures of your final product, and get an instructor to visually check out your product, when finished. Create a “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges. Only needs to be about 30 seconds to 1 minute. What’s the best way to show this off?

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done, earn your badge!

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Circuitry and Electronics Level 3: Littlebits Solutions

Skill Level: Level 3

Badges Earned: Electronics and Circuitry Level 3

Description: Now that you’ve had a chance to create your own circuits, it’s time to build a solution, using Littlebits parts and circuits. Littlebits are snap together circuits, but they can really be “amped” up to create solutions for many problems. We’re going to use Littlebits to create something original and amazing that: solves a problem. 

Start by taking a look at some of these projects. Find a few that you like:

http://littlebits.cc/projects 

Option 1: Fork a project. 

Forking a project, is taking a previous project, but then modifying and building on it, to create something that is completely your own. Like any research project, you need to give credit to original authors of the project. Remember to fill out a challenge proposal and start defining your problem. 

Option 2: Build your own idea.

You can certainly have been “inspired” by some of the above projects, but if you want to create something totally your own with Littlebits- that’s your second option. Remember to also fill out a challenge proposal.

What’s a good problem to solve? 

Remember that specific problems = specific audiences. Solving boredom is never a real problem, but creating, say, a mechanical pencil someone those people who might need assistance is. 

Time to completion:  No more than three weeks. 

How long should this project take you? This Littlebits project should take you a maximum of three weeks. Remember to create something to challenge yourself. Create lofty goals. Aim high.

NOTE: Can you think about creating something that has a different design? Is there a way you can improve the design? If so, document that in your process.

Some tips along the way: Take pictures of your final joint, and get an instructor to visually check out your joint, if you can. Create a “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges. Only needs to be about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done, earn your badge!

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Wearable Tech Level 1: Create an Interactive Conductive Ornament

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Skill Level: Level 1

Badges Earned: Wearable Technology 1

Description: If you’ve completed your intro to The Sewing Machine, we want to take that idea, and add an interactive piece to it, using conductive thread, batteries, and LEDs. What could you add to your bag that would allow for it to light up, sense something around it or do something?

As Always, Fill Out a Challenge Proposal 

Part 1: Sketch out a drawing for a logo or brand for your bag. Use Google Drawings or some other software to print this out.

Part 2: We’re going to use this Instructable here called LED Christmas Tree Ornament. However, you can make your design a logo, not a Christmas tree. The design is up to you.

http://www.instructables.com/id/LED-Christmas-Tree-Ornament-Using-Conductive-Threa/

You will absolutely want to take a look at this video on how to use regular LEDs an integrate them into your circuit.

PLEASE WATCH: Watch the video from here:

 See how she uses regular LEDs and twists them to incorporate them into her design?  

Part 3: 

Always ask questions if you’re stuck. Some of us have more experience with the sewing machine, so let someone know if you need help. Add this to your bag!

Some tips along the way: Take pictures of your project, and get an instructor to visually check out your project along the way, if you can. Create a “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges. Here’s a great example. Only needs to be about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done, earn your badge!

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Machines and Robotics Level 2: LEGO Mindstorms Color Sorter!

Skill Level: Level 2

Badges Earned: Machines and Robotics Level 2

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Description: In level 1 of Machines and Robotics you created a simple robot. The robot moved about a surface in the same direction, with the same speed, regardless of the environment. Basically, it did no thinking, made no decisions, did not react to input. In level 2 of Machines and Robotics, you will build a “smarter” robot: a color sorter. Your first task is to build the color sorter using the instructions provided below. Make sure you test your robot. Once you are satisfied that your robot works, improve it! What can you change to make it better, more useful, more efficient?

Before you create anything, fill out a Challenge Proposal.

Mindstorms Software:

Before you begin building, familiarize yourself with the Mindstorm Software (already installed on the desktops) and Mindstorm sensors. Click here to watch and follow along the 3 videos below.

  • Create your first program
  • Make your robot move
  • Make your robot respond to touch

Build, program and test your sorter:

Follow the directions in this document to build your sorter. The instructions do not include the code blocks, so you will put together the program yourself. If you have programmed in scratch, then you are familiar with the logic.

Improve your sorter:

This is where you get to show your creativity. Now that you are familiar with building, programming, and testing Mindstorm Robots, what improvements can you make? You can watch more videos here for inspiration.

Some tips along the way: Don’t forget to take pictures along the way. Create a “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges. Only needs to be 1 minute.

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done, earn your badge!

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Vinyl Cutting Basics: Cut Your First Vinyl Design!

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Skill Level: Level 1

Badges Earned: Vinyl Cutting 1

Description: The vinyl cutter can be a helpful tool for an artist, someone who is interested in branding or logos, prettying up walls, or adding pizzaz to a Chromebook cover. Use the video below to take your first steps with the Stika Vinyl Cutter.

As Always, Fill Out a Challenge Proposal

Step 1:  Just watch the videos below- they’ll take you through everything you need! 

Step 2: Transfer your design to a wall or other surface! 

 

Ideas:  How do vinyl designs solve problems? Do businesses use these? Do schools? How and where? Yours should solve a problem, too!

Some tips along the way: Take pictures of your final project, and get an instructor to visually check out your project, if you can. Create a video “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges. Only needs to be about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done, earn your badge!

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Laser Cutting Basics: Create a Laser Cut Keychain

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Skill Level: Level 1

Badges Earned: Epilog Laser 1

Description: Getting to know the laser cutter takes some practice. This exercise will not only show you how to create vector art on Corel Draw, but then we’ll take that vector, and “print” it out on an Epilog Laser Cutter.

As Always, Fill Out A Challenge Proposal

Step 1:  Watch the video below. It will take you through each step to complete the process.

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done, earn your badge!

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