There are many great computer science education resources available on the internet. One resource we love to use is Scratch. Scratch is a free, online programming environment that can be used to create animations, presentations, games, interactive stories, and more. Many of you know our STEM Discover Coding module utilizes Scratch along with our Computer Science curriculum, but there is much more to Scratch!
A beautiful feature of Scratch is the ability to share your projects. By sharing your projects, it allows others to see what you created and learn from you! You can also learn from others to add new features to your creations and make your projects more efficient! To share your project, click the share button in the top-right corner of the programming environment. To find someone else’s project, simply use the search feature on the homepage. To take from other projects, place sprites or stacks of code in your backpack.
Another great (and new!) feature of Scratch is the ability for educators to create teacher accounts. Teacher accounts allow you to quickly create accounts for all your students! You can create multiple classes, see students’ activity, and close a class when you are done. To request a teacher account, scroll to the bottom of the Scratch homepage and find the “For Educators” link.
The other great feature of Scratch we want to discuss isn’t technically a feature of Scratch, but instead the natural ability to apply Scratch to any subject area. Students of language classes can use Scratch to make creative stories or express the cultures speaking the languages they are studying. Students in math classes can use Scratch to execute algorithms, perform computations or to graph equations. Students in history classes can recreate famous historical events and explore the causes and consequences of those events. The possibilities of incorporating computer science fundamentals into any classroom are truly endless with Scratch!
Check out Scratch and Scratch projects at scratch.mit.edu.
Junior High/Middle School teachers, be sure to check out the NICERC Coding lessons found in the STEM EDA curriculum for lessons on basic algorithms, Scratch programming and HTML Coding.
High School teachers, be sure to register for access to our fun, activity-filled Computer Science curriculum or check out Cyber Literacy for a great intro to text-based programming with the Parallax BoeBots. Both curricula provide lessons that focus on coding but also guide discussions on the implications of computer science and cybersecurity for daily life.