Following on our use of Pawns, where we had to understand a problem, and experiment with finding solutions, we will learn to work with Scratch.
Scratch is a visual programming language developed by MIT.
Watch this video: Scratch in 30 Seconds
"Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the process of design."
Scratch is free of charge, go to this page. It is available for Mac OSX and Windows ( system requirements)
This animation describes the basics of Scratch:
There are other videos on the Internet about using Scratch.
This one is from a physics teacher in the US:
This video, on TeacherTube, describes how to program a game of Pong.
This video, on TeacherTube, was made by a Middle School student, and describes how to teach a Scratch sprite to walk.
This one is from Harvard University's extension school. Disregard the instructions and web address at the beginning of the video - they are out of date. About a quarter of the way through a description of the work area and ways of using Scratch begins - do watch these.
(This video can also be downloaded at Computer Science E-1: Understanding Computers and the InternetHarvard Extension School
Lecture 11 Programming)
If you download Scratch to use at home, you may also want to download this set of LEGO figures, donated by LEGO for use in Scratch projects.
After you make a Scratch project you want to share with other users, you can upload it to the MIT Scratch web site. As of today (21 Dec 07) there are 56,711 projects with a total of 1,014,169 scripts and 352,621 sprites created by 11,500 contributors of our 57,019 registered members.
Here is one of my favorites from the project gallery:
Learn more about this project
Click on this link to visit the Scratch web page and see our work in the CdN PYP Gallery.