Speak Colors

Run on April 8th, 2021 by @Lorenzo Martinelli.

The Speak Colors Hack Club workshop is one of the best introductions to creative coding—and, perhaps unintentionally, one of the best introductions to JavaScript for beginners, that Hack Club offers. It's a good example of the magic Hack Club Workshops can create: it's fairly short and super beginner-friendly, but by the end you end up with a super fun, easily hackable, and seemingly complex project that you didn't know was possible to make so easily. But although the workshop contains all the ingredients necessary to create this magical feeling among your club members, actually creating that feeling requires some effort.

Lorenzo runs a Hack Club in Kentucky. In this meeting, he and his coleads run the Speak Colors workshop. There were about 5 club members in the meeting.

What Lorenzo does right


How to run this meeting

  1. Get settled in
    1. Wait a few minutes for people to trickle in. If you can, play some music in the background. Make some casual conversation with people as they come in.
      • At the beginning of the meeting, Lorenzo asks people what they did for spring break and has a nice conversation with one of his club members.
    2. Have the slideshow linked in the "Resources" section opened up.
    3. Have the Hack Club Speak Colors workshop opened on a separate device before the meeting starts. You'll be using this workshop as a "script" throughout the meeting.
  2. Go through the workshop
    1. Open the demo linked at the beginning of the workshop and demo the final product to your club members.
    2. Give a bit of an intro. The workshop doesn't have much of an intro, so you'll have to improvise a bit. If your club members are relatively new to coding, broadly explain what p5.js is and how the demo works.
      • See how Lorenzo does it from to .
    3. Go through the workshop, using it and the slideshow as an example.
      • Once you reach slides 15 and 20, stop and check in with your club members to make sure nobody fell behind.
  3. Give your club members time to hack
    1. The workshop itself is pretty short, and should only take about 30-40 minutes. The real magic comes during the hacking section, when people can go wild and make it their own.
    2. Introduce the hacking section with slide 21. If you want to give your club members a little bit of inspiration, slide 22 has that.
    3. Give your club members 10-15 minutes to hack. Play some music in the background, or make casual conversation with people, to fill the silence.
      • Lorenzo does a cool thing in this meeting: he screenshares as he makes his own demo during the hacking section.
    4. Check in with people as they're hacking.
  4. Demo projects!
    1. If you have time left in your meeting, use it to encourage your club members to demo their projects. If nobody wants to go first, you and your club members should go first.
      • It's okay if only one or two people end up sharing—the point is not to pressure anyone or force them to share; it's for your club members to be able to see what others made.
      • A good way to approach demos if you don't feel comfortable with the way Lorenzo does it in this meeting: have everyone share the link to their repl in an online space that everyone is part of (Slack, Discord, whatever) and demo people's projects yourself. That way, your club members can see what others built during the hacking section, but nobody has to actually stand up in front of the room and present, so it's a lot less intimidating.
  5. Finish up
    1. After the demos, you're done! Play some music and make some casual conversation as people head out.