Education: Learning to Program


Posted by Ross Manthorp on 28 October 2019

Space Bubbles is a complete educator resource for teaching students how to program in GameMaker Studio 2 using Drag and Drop. It is a practical programming scheme of work designed to introduce students to the basics of programming.

It is designed for ages 11 to 14 as a means of teaching students the fundamentals of how to code through game design, although it can be used with higher and lower aged students if, or as a means of providing art & design students in tertiary education with a grounding in the coding skills required for 2D Game Art projects.

The project introduces students to the three constructs of programming (sequencing, selection statements and iteration), variables and the programming concept of inheritance, using parent and child objects.

This scheme of work contains:

  • 8 one-hour lessons with associated PowerPoint presentations
  • 3 homework sheets
  • A student workbook
  • A starting student GameMaker project
  • 6 video tutorials
  • 6 written tutorial worksheets
  • Completed GameMaker projects to accompany each of the tutorials
  • A selection of GameMaker functionality help sheets
  • 9 Extension tasks and a completed GameMaker project with the tasks in
  • 6 Challenge tasks and a completed GameMaker project with the tasks in
  • A compiled demo game of Space Bubbles
  • A compiled version of the game with the Extension tasks completed
  • A compiled version of the game with Challenge tasks completed
  • An assessment system
  • A Teacher’s Guide

For a full download of the entire course content see the link below. We've also broken down the high-level sections into smaller downloads and included a YouTube playlist version of the videos included in the course.

Full Download


Teacher Guide




  • L1 Introduction
  • L2 Principles of Programming
  • L3 Sequencing
  • L4 Selection Statements
  • L5 Self Assessment
  • L6 Iteration
  • L7 Peer Review
  • L8 Teacher Assessment



  • T1 Room
  • T2 Player
  • T3 Gamma Rays
  • T4 Bubbles
  • T5 Collisions & Controller
  • T6 Warp Gate

Extension and Challenge Tasks


  • Extensions: Wrap, More Bubbles, Random Direction, Targets, Seekers, Chase, Side Bubbles, Pacing
  • Challenges: Pop Effect, Scoring, Lives, Health, Asteroids

Next Steps

Read our Educator survey article to discover why Game Design is such a great way to teach coding at:

Purchasing Education Licences

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