Is coding only for geeks, gamers or geniuses? for people who like maths, logic, and analytical thinking?

Or is coding a means to create for the arts, human-centred design, empathy, storytelling, human connection, building imaginary worlds, characters and adventures, social impact and creative expression.

It is not just about maths and logic, students can also use it to create visual art like these spirographs

Computer science is a liberal art

In the words of Steve Jobs, ‘Computer science is a liberal art’. Coding and, more broadly, technology are tools that enable creation, innovation, expression and impact in any field or context, whether in sciences and maths or creative arts and social sciences. Forgetting the creative potential of coding means that we miss out on enabling creative types with a new tool. Let’s have a look at some of the creative, human-centred projects Australian students have built.

TED – Talking, Entertainment Droid

TED is a companion robot, showing the scope for empathic design within coding and robotics


TED, a talking entertainment droid, was developed by a student team of two Year 5 girls in the MicroMakers II program at Bulimba State School. TED is a companion robot that was specifically designed for lonely people. This is a beautiful example of a tech project that embraced empathy for users, solved a community problem and targeted social impact.

Animated story

We first sketch storyboards on paper to outline the story and scenes. Students use the storyboards to plan and create animated stories with Scratch. Animated stories are a great tool for creative expression.

Interactive artwork

We can create interactive artwork by coding. We use ‘pen’ blocks in Scratch to create drawing and stamping sprites, playing with shapes, colours, and geometries. We create spirography with Turtle or bouncing shape animations with Python. Interactive artwork takes art to the next level by allowing users to interact with art in real-time.

Music app

Students can build a music game where you can play musical instruments and create music.  A team presented their music app game at the Ashgrove Demo Day in 2016. The team even added artistic effects and made the instrument sprites change costumes when you play it. With coding you can be creative, musical and expressive.

Ballet practice app

Students created a project that teaches the player basic ballet stances


A Year 5 student team presented their project of a Scratch game that teaches the player basic ballet feet positions at the 2016 Young ICT Explorers competition. The team connected Scratch with Makey Makey and built their own input device which you can play with your feet. You play the game by stepping your feet on the correct foot pad and practising ballet feet positions. This Scratch-Makey Makey ballet game is a beautiful, physical game which encourages creative expression.

As you can see, these student-made technology projects are just a few examples of how technology can be used to develop creative, empathetic, artistic and human-centred designs. Technology is an enabling and empowering tool that can enhance creation in any context. Creative types can benefit from using coding and technology as tools to create, innovate, express and make an impact.

Finally, is coding only for geeks, gamers or geniuses?

No. Coding is creative tool for anyone.


Check out our free teacher download. Learn to code with Scratch in 30 minutes.



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