Learning to code at any age is beneficial to students. Similar to learning another language, early exposure can help a child pick it up with confidence and ease.
During the class, they will program their own interactive games, stories, and animation. Kids have a blast solving problems, designing projects and creatively expressing themselves.
Level 1: Make short stories by adding characters/backgrounds. Apply elements of animation (e.g. movement, rotation and speed). Create dimension and depth by shrinking, growing, and hiding characters (sprites)
Level 2: Create your own Sprites and objects using the drawing tool, interact and communicate with different characters, and add different settings in a story using pages
Level 3: Kids put all their coding fundamentals to work by designing and customizing their very own games! A perfect way to turn screen time into SKILL time!
Crossy roads, Racing games, Design a toy rocket, Theater Class!, Save the kingdom
Allowed in this class: Windows desktop or laptop, Mac desktop or laptop, Chromebook, Tablet, iPad
|Day||Time||Class||Grade level||Session Dates||Price|
|Monday||5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST||
Scratch Jr Level 1
Parental assistance may be required
|K - 2nd||Feb 14 - Apr 4||$225|
Don’t see a week that works for your schedule? Create your Own Camp.
*These are recommended age ranges. We can adjust based on your child’s needs and abilities.
Scratch is a visual programming language designed by the MIT Media Lab to introduce 8- to 16-year-olds to the techniques and concepts of coding. Named for the “scratching” technique DJs use to remix music and sounds for creative effect, Scratch allows users near-boundless creativity with simple tools, while teaching skills applicable to more complex programming languages like Python. It is among the most popular coding languages for kids in the world, and is now available in over 70 languages, with some 75 million users world-wide. It’s compatible with Windows, Android and IOS, making it available to use on PC’s, Chromebooks, tablets, or iPads.
The simple graphical interface allows users to combine a backdrop with sprites – programmable elements, such as characters or other objects, which can be made to move, react to events or other objects, play sounds, and more. With these components and simple coding, users can create videos, games, educational products like quizzes and tutorials, and a host of other projects.
The Scratch interface has four main areas in a straightforward layout to guide users through creating programs as simple or intricate as they desire:
In the lower right of the screen is the sprites pane, which shows the sprites currently in use for the project. Many stock sprites are available to use in projects, and users can also create their own custom sprites, upload sprites from other sources, or tweak the standard sprites for their project. Users will also find the backdrop here, which likewise offers several standards options as well as the option to upload or create your own.
On the left side of the screen, the code tab contains the blocks palette, a “toolbox” of code represented as graphical blocks grouped under categories such as Motion, Events, Control, Sounds and more. With a backdrop or sprite selected in the sprites pane, users can drag and drop these blocks, attaching them like Lego bricks to create lines of instructions for the selected item to execute on command. And Sounds gives another opportunity for customization since users can upload their own audio files to use in their projects.
This is the blank area to the right of the blocks palette, where the code blocks are placed and linked together into code. The shape of the blocks signals whether two code pieces can work together (in which case they can be joined together), an easy error-proofing system for budding programmers.
Finally, in the upper right of the screen is the stage – the area where the program will actually run on command, where the backdrop and sprites will display will execute the instructions laid out for them in the code area. This allows kids coding in Scratch to test and retest their programs through trial and error and adjust as necessary.
To make the process even more user friendly, novice users can take advantage of Scratch Cards – a sort of flash card with code samples for basic tasks (such as rotating or changing size) which a user can combine into larger and more complex actions.
In short, Scratch provides a simple visual-based interface to help kids experiment with assembling code sections to create programs for as many uses as they can imagine. And while it was designed for kids, Scratch is used by adults as well, and is especially popular in education - Harvard’s CS50 Introductory Computer Science course even uses it!
But it’s more than just a programming tool. Scratch is also an online community which allows members to share their projects, give and receive feedback, and collaborate. This community is monitored by the MIT Media Lab to ensure it’s a positive and age-appropriate experience for all users.
Inspired by Scratch, Scratch Jr is a simplified programming language designed for ages 5-7, whose reading and math skills may not be advanced enough to use Scratch. Built with the same goal of teaching not only the skills of coding, but the broader skills of creativity and systematic reasoning, Scratch Jr uses a more basic, visual interface to allow these younger users to create their own projects. Available for IOS, Android and Chromebook as a free app, users can also find an open-source version created by the community to run on Mac and Windows.
The Scratch Jr interface has only the stage in center screen, with the blocks palette below in the form of a command bar offering a pared-down set of code options from those in Scratch. As its target age range may have limited reading skills, the graphical code blocks in Scratch Jr are image-only icons with no text. Below the blocks palette is the code area, where users drag and drop the code blocks to form chains. Sprites in use for the current project are displayed on the left-hand side, while the backdrop is displayed on the opposite side of the screen. As with Scratch, users can choose from a variety of stock backdrops and sprites, and as before there are options for users to create their own. As with Scratch, cards are available for Scratch Jr, giving the young users ready building blocks to work from.
Scratch Jr is an excellent tool for introducing young children to programming, and a great lead-in to using Scratch later. But it’s also an effective way to teach creative skills and focus that they will be apply to apply to a range of activities as they grow. Taking Scratch coding for kids online is a great way to get started with computer programming.