Alice: Free, Easy, Interactive 3D Graphics for Kids

AliceI was reading my eWeek today and say this cool article talking about a way to teach programming to kids. The idea is that you have this rich visual 3D world that you program the objects in it to move and interact. I took a look at it and discovered just that, it talks about methods, objects, and other tenants of modern programming . Man, I wished I would have had this when I was a kid. It would have made learning BASIC a lot simpler.
Once the students get comfortable with the interface they will be producing animated movies in no time at all. They can draw from a library rich in 3D models like dragons, faeries, spaceships, buildings. There is also a way to import models from 3D Studio Max using a third party utility. There is also a collaboration with the popular game ‘The Sims‘  to add a much more fluid look and feel to the character animations. I hope that when this happens Alice will stay free to anyone that wants to download it. My kids are both fans of the Sims and I know that this would at least give them a clue as to what computer programming is like. Even if you don’t have kids but would like to know more of how all this software stuff works you should download it and give it a try. It’s written in Java so it will work on both PC and Mac.

Alice: Free, Easy, Interactive 3D Graphics for the WWW