Scratch is a programming language for kids that makes it easy to create their own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share their creations on the web. It was developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab with the goal of developing a program that was more “tinkerable”, more meaningful, and more social than other programming languages.
Classroom Antics and the developers of Scratch at MIT have always been intrigued and inspired by the way children play and build with LEGO bricks. Given a box full of them, children immediately start building and snapping together a few bricks. Their emerging LEGO structure then gives them new ideas. As they play and build, plans and goals evolve organically, along with the structures and stories. Programming with Scratch has this same feel.
The Scratch programming platform is based on a collection of graphical “programming blocks” that children snap together to create programs. As with LEGO bricks, connectors on the blocks suggest how they should be put together. Children can start by simply tinkering with the bricks, snapping them together in different sequences and combinations to see what happens.
Scratch programming is not the first collaborative project between the Lifelong Kindergarten research group at the MIT Media Lab and the LEGO Company. For many years, they have developed LEGO Mindstorms and LEGO WeDo robotics kits for the benefit of engineering education and technology education for students. Based on the enjoyment and education obtained from these technologies that we have observed during our summer day camps and week-end day camps at Classroom Antics, we hope it will not be the last.