How to Start a MicroWorld EX Project

By Camille McCue

In general, to get started coding, you need only a computer, the programming language software such as MicroWorld EX, and an up-to-date version of a consumer-grade operating system (Windows or Mac OS). Some languages, such as Scratch, operate in a web browser, so you must also have a browser such as Firefox to work with those options.

After you’ve installed it, follow these steps to start MicroWorlds EX:

  1. Click on the yellow backpack icon.

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    The backpack serves as the icon for MWEX because objects in this programming language are called turtles, and every turtle totes a backpack carrying important information just like your backpack.

    As MicroWorlds EX starts, you see the splash screen.

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  2. Click on the splash screen to dismiss it.

    A yellow Welcome to MicroWorlds EX screen opens and presents several options to you.

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  3. Choose Free Mode to start a new project, or Open Project to open a saved project.

    Upon choosing any option, you are presented with the MWEX interface. Free Mode presents a somewhat empty interface because you haven’t created any code or graphics yet.

    For additional guidance and other project examples in MWEX, choose Tutorials or Samples on the left, and then choose a specific project on the right.

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Here are four different types of coding projects you can make with MicroWorld EX:

  • Toys are things you play with that have no specific goal or scoring: for example, a spirograph drawing toy or Mad Libs.

  • Games have a goal (and sometimes scoring) such as a search-and-find game that challenges you to find an object, or Frogger, where the goal is to get the frog across the road and to the pond without being struck by a number of objects. Games present challenges that can be won or lost.

  • Animated scenes are little movies such as a winter snow scene with blinking holiday lights.

  • Simulations (sims) are programs that are meant to mimic or model the real world — for example, a viral epidemic, or births of babies in a hospital.