The staff pick for this blog comes from Josh Coriell, one of NICERC’s Curriculum Development Specialists.
Programming using the Scratch platform developed by MIT is the primary focus of the Discover Coding module in our STEM EDA curricula. In this module, the students learn programming fundamentals, how to use Scratch, and simultaneously create several games in Scratch, one of which is an original idea of the students. Although this module has a large focus on Scratch, this doesn’t mean that Scratch can be used only with this module.
Aside from creating games with Scratch, it can also be used to program animated and interactive stories, presentations, infographics, advertisements, and many other endless applications! For example, in the Advanced Math curriculum, students use Scratch to sketch the graphs of linear equations. In the Computer Science curriculum, the students program the Raspberry Pi using Scratch.
If you want to apply Scratch to other STEM EDA modules, consider having the students create calculators and presentations in Scratch. For example, a calorie calculator can be created for the nutrition section of the Explore Cars module. Alternatively, in the Discover Genetics module, students could create a presentation for their Zaboo in Scratch that includes Punnett squares that show how the Zaboo received its traits.
If you have questions concerning Scratch or want to learn more about it or programming in general, consider checking out the “Workshop Resources” page of the STEM EDA course at nicerc.instructure.com. Also, be sure to check out the many projects that also exist on Scratch for more inspiration! If you implement Scratch with our curriculum, we (and teachers everywhere!) would love to hear about it! Contact us to share your projects!
To gain access to our curriculum along with a multitude of other great lessons for middle school and high school classes, click here.