Autism Speaks Grant supports future coders in partnership with GameStop
April 18, 2019
Thanks to a grant by Autism Speaks as part of their NXT GEN Coders Program powered by GameStop program, the National Foundation for Autism Research in San Diego was able to offer it’s first in what we hope to be a series of Coding Classes designed to enhance interest and help develop skills in coding for teens and young adults with autism.
Individuals with high tech skills, such as computer programming are in demand. By offering classes such as these, we hope to encourage those with autism to further their education and/ or training for positions in the high tech field.
The Program which started in February, will provide 70+ hours of instruction on how to code in a game development engine called Unity, one of the tools used by the game development industry. Topics include basic coding in C#, and 2D and 3D modeling and design. Activities include a combination of group and hands-on learning, with a 1 to 4 ratio of support, and individualized computer-based training.
We are now half-way through the course and the participants have learned to do basic programming in C# (define variable, loops and if statements, as well as the math operators), and have learned how to program game characters in the Unity game engine. They have completed a basic version of the game space invaders, where the actions of each character has to be defined and programmed, and are now refining the game by adding more complex behaviors, score keeping and introducing multiple characters.