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MIT student blogger Mimi S. '22

Splash 2018 by Mimi S. '22

Learn about anything and everything!

Heyo everyone! It’s Mimi again!

I recently became a member of MIT’s Educational Studies Program, a student group that runs a variety of educational events such as Splash, Spark, Cascade, and several others! The program I’m focusing on is Splash. If you don’t know, Splash is basically MIT students teaching high schoolers about any topic they want. To give you a sense of the range, when I did Splash 2017 (as a senior and before I got accepted to MIT, how time flies!) I did a game design class, early solar system, basic Japanese, partial differential equations (I don’t know multivariable calc, I just thought it would be interesting), quaternions, a queer event (oh look, she’s being gay again), and a few others that I can’t recall at the moment. But seriously, the breadth is absolutely astonishing! There are already over 400 classes! And they all take place on November 17 to 18!

There is really one more reason I wanted to talk about Splash: I’m gonna teach a class! So basically, I was kind of disappointed by the game design/dev class because it was spoiled with technical issues and bugs that made it rather frustrating. I wanted to correct those issues and also teach about something new and interesting. My class is called “Intro to Game Development with Love <3”. As the title suggests, the class is about making games using a framework called Love. One of the things that isn’t suggested is that it’s also an intro to programming course, so no real experience is required!

One of the reasons I wanted to teach about Love is that it was my primary game framework in both middle school and high school! While I didn’t do anything worth while in middle school (except for some dumb game about passing bills in congress and stuff), I’m somewhat fond of my high school work. I mean, it’s still highly amateurish, but kind of charming. One that I made during sophomore year is called Bullet Helloween (There will be a link here to the source code in the future, once I have scrubbed it). You played as a witch who had to shoot down a variety of different monsters (pumpkins, weird skellys, and evil candy corn). One of my favorite aspects of the game is the different effects that the different weapons you use have on the enemies. The ghost ray shoots much faster than all the other weapons, is much stronger against the pumpkin enemies, but causes the skeleton dudes to go much faster. The candy corn weapon travels in an arc and is super effect against candy corn (a slight reference to Megaman 2‘s Metal Man), but causes the pumpkins to gain health and stop moving.

Here is a video of it in action: Bullet-Helloween

So yeah, come check out Splash. Come take my class :D If you can’t make it to MIT, many other schools have Splashes as well. I highly recommend checking them out and trying to go to one if you can!

That’s about all I have to say,