Scratch Day is a global network of events that celebrates Scratch and the young people who code and create with it. This year’s Scratch Day is extra special, because it also coincides with Scratch’s 10th anniversary. To celebrate, The Div is hosting a Scratch Camp in Oklahoma City!
Projects will be similar to those covered in our 2016 camp, but this year we’re also exploring how Scratch can be used to interact with the “real world”. We’ve teamed up with our friends from the OKC Open Source Hardware group and a portion of camp will be an introduction to activities using the Raspberry Pi.
What is Scratch?
Scratch is a visual programming language developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT. The platform makes it easy for children to program their own interactive stories, games and animations, and share these creations with others in the online community. As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively— essential skills for life in the 21st century.
Falling just after Ada Lovelace Day, this 3 hour day camp is an opportunity for young girls to get together and learn some of the basic building blocks of computer programming. Designed to introduce them to new projects and ideas, participants will go home with even more resources to continue to learn and build their skills after camp is over.
Computers are changing everything, but nationwide only 1 in 4 schools teaches computer science. Unfortunately, that creates an opportunity gap…and learning about technology shouldn’t be exclusive. While we’re focused on closing the gap for all kids, we recognize that for girls, it’s even more important. By 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs available in computing related fields. US graduates are on track to fill 29% of those jobs. Women are on track to fill just 3%.
When girls learn to code, they become change agents in their communities. They create technology that makes the world a better place. We want to give them the tools they need to get started.
Date: Saturday, October 22
Time: 12:30 – 3:30 PM
Location: Computer lab use donated by Oklahoma City University, Meinders School of Business
Computer programming is a new type of literacy. We think coding should be for everyone, just like writing. Even young children can learn to program their own interactive stories and games.
That’s why we’re taking our popular Scratch Camp format and bringing it to a younger audience so that kids have a chance to start coding even earlier!
September 17, we’re hosting a PBS Kids ScratchJr Code Camp.
What is Scratch Jr.?
ScratchJr is an introductory programming language inspired by the popular Scratch program, used by millions of young people around the world. In ScratchJr, the interface and programming language were redesigned to make them developmentally appropriate for younger children, carefully designing features to match their cognitive, personal, social, and emotional development.
Then PBS Kids and ScratchJr partnered together to make coding even more appealing to kids. With the PBS Kids ScratchJr app, young people can create their own stories and games featuring their favorite characters from shows like Wild Kratts, Nature Cat, WordGirl and Peg + Cat.
Why is ScratchJr Important?
As young children code with ScratchJr, they learn how to create and express themselves with the computer, not just to interact with it. In the process, children learn to solve problems and design projects, and they develop sequencing skills that are foundational for later academic success. They also use math and language in a meaningful and motivating context, supporting the development of early-childhood numeracy and literacy.
With ScratchJr, children aren’t just learning to code, they are coding to learn.
I shared a few thoughts on last week’s Scratch Camp over on the iThemes blog, but I wanted to talk about one of the things that touched me most here.
After each camp, we send a survey to parents asking for their feedback. But we also really love to get it straight from our campers.
Kids don’t hold back. If they loved it, they’ll use all the exclamation points they can fit on the page. If they were bored, they’ll skip the sugar coating and tell you that too. And after all, everything’s a little cuter when written in Crayola.
Out of the mouths of babes
Here are a few of the feedback forms we got from campers:
Hard fun promotes passionate learning.
Can you guess the thing about our camper’s feedback forms that really stuck with me?
“I had some struggles. It was hard, but fun!”
To an educator, that’s some of the the best feedback you can get. Because learning doesn’t happen on accident. Even if the end result is something you really want, it takes work and diligence to get there.
Let kids try and fail and then try again, that’s where learning begins!
As adults, we’re quick to preach the “learning is fun” mantra, but perhaps it would better serve the next generation to say, “Learning can be really tough…but fun comes once you grasp the skill, so the hard work is worth it!”
If we teach well, we can guide our kids and students gracefully through the parts that are just plain hard work, knowing that excitement and fun are on the other side.
*Editors note: This camp has reached capacity! To find out about other camps as they are announced, sign up to recieve our newsletter.
Does your child enjoy building, working with others and solving challenging problems in Minecraft? Sign up to participate in our MinecraftEDU Building and Redstone Engineering Challenge Kids Camp!
What does a Minecraft Challenge Camp look like?
Student participants will have an opportunity to build together on either our MinecraftEDU Building Challenge Server (in Creative mode) or our Redstone Engineering Challenge Server (in MinecraftEDU mode). On each server, student groups will be provided with building challenges as well as resources, tutorials and instructions on how to complete each challenge.
Multiple challenges will be available. These will include simple challenges like “designing and building cute animals” to more complex challenges like building a rollercoaster or a Redstone-powered house with opening doors, automatic lights, door bells, etc. Prior experience with Minecraft is helpful but not required. Prior experience building with Minecraft Redstone is not required.
Scratch Day is a global network of events that celebrates Scratch and the young people who code and create with it. To celebrate, The Div is hosting a Scratch Camp in Oklahoma City!
What is Scratch?
Scratch is a visual programming language developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT. Scratch makes it easy for children to program their own interactive stories, games and animations, and share these creations with others in the online community. As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively— essential skills for life in the 21st century.