Pop Up: Build a Virtual Lite-Brite

Thinking of a Lite-Brite may make you nostalgic. But these days, they are covered in germs. In this live, instructor-led workshop, you will build and customize your very own virtual Lite Brite that you can share with anyone around the world!

This will be best experienced on a desktop or laptop computer.

Welcome!

We are so glad you are here! To get set up…

  1. Open up repl.it in a browser (preferably Chrome) and log in to your account
  2. Please change your zoom name to first, last initial, pronouns (ex: Amy H. (she/her))
  3. Introduce yourself in the zoom chat - where are you calling in from?

Goals

  • Build and customize a virtual Lite-Brite
  • Gain exposure and familiarity with some HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Determine if coding is something you enjoy doing and want to pursue further

Disclaimer: We won’t become experts in these languages today. And you may leave with more questions than answers!

Programming Languages We Will Use

Building the user-facing part of a website or app is referred to as Front-End Engineering. Building a Front-End requires the writing code in three programming languages, and making the code in each language “talk to” the code in the others.

It can feel like a lot, but let’s start by building an understanding of what each language is responsible for. We will make some comparisons to the human body to create context.

HTML

HTML holds the content we see on a page (text, images) and defines the structure and order in which the content appears.

We can think of HTML as the skeleton of our webpage; without it, we'd just be a blob:

Drawing of human skeleton

CSS

CSS defines the look and feel of a webpage - it can change the size or layout of items on a page, change colors, fonts, and more!

We can think of CSS as anything that makes us unique and recognizable - our skin, hair, clothes, style, etc.

Drawing of human skeleton

JavaScript

JavaScript is what lets the user interact with a page. For example, clicking a button and getting some sort of response.

We can think of JavaScript as the brain and muscle of our webpage, as it powers all the action:

Drawing of human skeleton

Let’s explore this small project to see what this looks like in code.

Project Setup

We will work off of a starter kit that has already been created. Click this link to access the starter kit in repl.it. Here’s how to get set up:

  1. Once you are on the site, substitute your name in for the NAME placeholder on line 5 of the HTML file.
  2. Click the green “Run” button at the top of the page, and you should see a mini Lite-Brite project on the right side of the page.



Now, it gets even more fun: