EToys - a Love/Hate relationship

I'm late with this post, mainly because I have such a problem with programming with ETOYS! Nevermind the crashing - I have learned to save the project every change so that when the program inevitably crashes at least I do not lose everything. 

My goal for this project was to make a magnet exploration game for my students, because we are building Magnetic Levitation vehicles from acrylic plastic, and this would be a nice starting point to remind them of magnetic properties such as repelling, attraction, and so forth. So as you can see in the screenshot, I created two bar magnets, and some items that may or may not be magnetic. The point would be to drag the magnets over an item. If they're magnetic, the magnet would pick it up and drag it to the appropriate category. 

My problems are with the actual scripting, and I am not sure what my mental block is with this. I know the steps I need to take to make the program, but cannot figure out how to translate those steps into EToys. So I'm reading up on scripting with EToys in the hopes of developing a working game.

Last year, for this project, I was very negative about this program and having the opportunity to explore it again I wanted to approach with a fresh perspective. Taking Dr. A's advice into account, the perspective of children and the flexibility of building their own sprites, I was enjoying the paint portion of the system this year far more than I did last year. I can really see how this program could be used effectively to engage students in a variety of projects across many disciplines. In ELA they could illustrate a poem or story and make it come to life. In social studies they could create maps and and show war campaigns. In science they could recreate labs, similar to the magnet project I'm working on now. In Math, there are a multitude of geometry applications. So if I can get myself to wrap my head around the process of programming in EToys, it would be a valuable resource. I just need more time to learn the program better before I can think about introducing it to students.

Here's the screenshot of how far I got. I'm still working on the scripting, but hope to be able to post a functional program by Friday.

    • Anthony Travaglini
      Anthony Travaglini

      Susan - This is great and so creative!  I'm completely with you on the scripting, it took me a week to get my very simple script working. Just keep at it, and stay positive!

      • Gerald Ardito
        Gerald Ardito


        I appreciate your reconsideration of Etoys. 
        Did you post your final project?

        • Susan Granata
          Susan Granata

          I have finally figured it out - it's all in the "Script Run Type". If you select "ticking" then the program runs continuously. However - if you select "MouseEnter" then the program will be active while the Mouse Cursor is within the mounds of the morph! So now, the morphs can be picked up and dragged by my students, and when placed in the correct box the morph makes a chirp sound, and when in the incorrect box it makes a "clink" sound. Here's the screen shot of the screen, and then the code. i'm not sure how to link the actual project to this blog.

          sample scripthere's the sample script for some of the morphs.


          • Gerald Ardito
            Gerald Ardito


            You did a terrific job with your final project, as well as dealing with Etoys. I agree that can be challenging to work with. I am convinced that this is a function of it being so powerful, plus I think it pushes the boundaries of block based (non-textual) programming.

            Alan Kay would be proud.

          Computer Science for Teachers Spring 2019

          Computer Science for Teachers Spring 2019

          Here is the online home for CS for Teachers at Pace University for Spring 2019.

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