Tag Archives: scratch

Code to the beat of your own drum during Black History Month 2023

Post Syndicated from Kevin Johnson original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/coding-projects-black-history-month-2023/

When we think about a celebration, we also think about how important it is to be intentional about sound. And with this month of February being a celebration of Black history in the USA, we want to help you make some noise to amplify the voices, experiences, and achievements of the Black community.

Two young people using laptops at a Code Club session.

From the past and present, to those still to come in the future, countless remarkable achievements have been made by Black individuals who have chosen to move to the beat of their own drum. Music and sound can be tools to tell stories, to express ourselves, to promote change, to celebrate, and so much more. So take some time this month to make your own music with your young coders and start dancing.                

Of course, choosing to dance is not the same as choosing to devote your life to the equality and freedom of all people. But it reminds us that you can incite change by choosing to do what is right, even when you feel like you’re the only one moving to the music. It won’t be long before you see change and meet people you resonate with, and a new sound will develop in which everyone can find their rhythm.

So join us this month as we explore the power of code and music to celebrate Black History Month.

Projects to help you find your rhythm

We’ve selected three of our favourite music-related projects to help you bring a joyful atmosphere to your coding sessions this month. All of the projects are in Scratch, a programming language that uses blocks to help young people develop their confidence in computer programming while they experiment with colours and sounds to make their own projects.  

Drum star | Scratch

Find your rhythm with this clicker game where you earn points by playing the drums in different venues. The project is one of our Explore projects and it includes step-by-step instructions to help young creators develop their skills, confidence, and interest in programming. This makes it a great option for beginners who want to get started with Scratch and programming.

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Music maker | Scratch

Code to the beat of your own drum — or any instrument you like. Use this project to create your own virtual musical instrument and celebrate a Black musician you admire. For young people who have some experience with Scratch, they may enjoy expressing themselves with this Design project. Our Design projects give young people support to build on their experience to gain more independence coding their own ideas.

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Binary hero | Scratch

Can you keep up with the beat? Prove it in this game where you play the notes of a song while they scroll down the screen. You could choose to include a song associated with a moment in Black history that is meaningful to you. This project is a great opportunity for young people to expand their programming knowledge to create lists, while they also test their reaction skills with a fun game.

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For young creators who want to create projects that don’t involve music or sound, check out these projects which can help you to:

Let us know how you’re celebrating Black History Month in your community on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram all month long!

Black stories to inspire you to move

Learn about our partnership with Team4Tech and Kenya Connect, with whom we are empowering educators and students in rural Kenya to use the power of coding and computing to benefit their communities.

A young person uses a computer.
  • I Belong in Computer Science: Salome Tirado Okeze

Meet Salome, a computer science student from the UK who shares her experiences and advice for young people interested in finding out where computer science can lead them. Salome was one of the first people we interviewed for our ‘I belong’ campaign to celebrate young role models in computer science.

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Research to help set the tone  

We believe that creating inclusive and equitable learning environments is essential to supporting all young people to see computer science as an opportunity for them. To help engage young people, especially those who are underrepresented in computer science classrooms, we are carrying out research with teachers to make computing culturally relevant. Our work promoting culturally relevant pedagogy in educational settings in England has been impacted by projects of many US researchers who have already contributed heavily to this area. You can learn about two of these projects in this blog post.

Educators who want to find out how they can use culturally relevant pedagogy with their learners can download our free guidelines today.

An educator explains a computing concept to a learner.

We would also like to invite you to our monthly research seminar on 7 February 2023, when we will be joined by Dr Jean Salac who will be sharing their research on Moving from equity to justice in computing instruction for youth. Dr Salac’s session is part of our current series of seminars that centres on primary school (K–5) teaching and learning of computing. The seminars are free and open to everyone interested in computing education. We hope to see you there! 

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Introduce young people to coding with our updated projects

Post Syndicated from Liz Smart original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/introduction-to-scratch/

A year ago we launched our Introduction to Scratch path of six new coding projects. This was the first path to use our new 3…2…1…Make! approach for prioritising fun and engagement whilst enabling creators to make the things that matter to them. Creators learn how to add code, costumes, and sounds to sprites as they make animations, a game, an app, and a book.

Young person using Scratch.

As the first birthday of the Introduction to Scratch path approached, we decided to review and refresh each project. We used input from the community, looked at remixes of the projects, and analysed visitor data to guide us in our review.

We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who engaged in focus groups, provided input via social channels, or clicked the project feedback buttons. We really appreciate you taking the time to reach out and we hope you will be pleased with the changes. 

An illustration of the 3-2-1 structure of the new Raspberry Pi Foundation coding project paths.
Our project paths have a 3-2-1 structure (click the image to enlarge)

The updates are split into two parts, those we made specifically to the Introduction to Scratch path, and changes made across all of the 3…2…1…Make! projects.

3…2…1…Make! projects

The first thing you might notice is the revamp of our Introduction step, now called ‘You will make’. This simplified step focuses on setting the scene and encourages creators to play with a completed project example.

Young person using a computer.
Picture Conor McCabe Photography

Also changed is the Reflection step, replaced by ‘Quick quiz’ — a much neater page that guides creators through three questions before awarding a project badge. 

Introduction to Scratch

Here is an overview of the Scratch path to tell you more about the projects and the changes we’ve made to the content.

Creators can start using the updated Scratch projects right away!

Three Explore projects

Our first three projects in the path introduce creators to a set of skills and provide step-by-step instructions to help them develop initial confidence.

Explore 1: Space talk 

In this project, creators design a space scene with characters that emote to share their thoughts or feelings. We received some amazing feedback from a member of the Deaf community to enhance the Nano uses sign language task and include a great new boxout to prompt discussion amongst our creators.

We also heard from a couple of club leaders that the Text to Speech extension in Scratch was a great addition to this project so we added an optional Text to Speech information card to the Upgrade your project step.  

Three alien characters stood still on a planet. One alien has a speech bubble that says, "Hello!". Another has a thinking bubble that reads, "Hmm...".

Explore 2: Catch the bus

The bus in the Catch the bus project is a tour bus, but we originally used the school backdrop as a departure point. We liked how the backdrop looked but now recognise that doing a project about a school bus whilst in a club was probably not the most popular choice. Please forgive us! The project now uses a nighttime city scene.

We also removed the use of the ‘Timer hat block’ from this project — it isn’t needed for the rest of the path and has behaviour that complicates things. The ‘timer hat block’ has been replaced by a ‘wait block’.

A bus drives along a cityscape at night. Scratch cat is faced towards the bus. A hippo with wings flies alongside the bus and towards Scratch cat.

 

Explore 3: Find the bug

We have loved engaging with the community submissions of this project and really enjoyed seeing how quickly we can find the small bugs on each level of the games that have been created. With replicating that enthusiasm in mind, our changes to this project focused on young creators sharing their project and playing projects created by others.

Our new Share and play step has a number of options, including sharing in a club, submitting your project to a shared studio, and experiencing remixes as a user. We have also embedded some community projects into the step to provide upgrade ideas and inspiration.

An insect is on a blackboard. Next to the insect is a speech bubble that contains "13.10". A parrot is below the blackboard.

Two Design projects

The next two projects in the path encourage creators to practise the skills they learned in the previous ‘Explore’ projects, and to express themselves creatively while they grow in independence.

The revamped Get ideas task on the first step of each Design project now has a featured community project that will be regularly updated. You may also notice that the inspirational examples have been reordered or changed using analysis from interactions with them.

Additional community submissions can be found in the Share and play steps to provide upgrade ideas and creators are encouraged to look at remixes of the starter project for even more inspiration. 

Design 1: Silly eyes

Interacting with remixes of the Silly eyes project is one of our favourite things to do! The project involves creating a character whose eyes follow the mouse pointer. We love seeing how design decisions have shaped each project and how various upgrades have been used.

For this project, we decided to remove the ‘Add stage effects’ step as it was largely a repeat of the earlier ‘Add sprite effects’ step. Stage effects is now an optional upgrade which means creators can get through to the ‘Share and play’ step to look at the design decisions made by others, then use those to choose which ideas to include in their project. 

A sea creature with large eyes.

Design 2: Surprise animation

This project consists of creating an animation of a story. We looked at the remixes so far and realised the main steps of the surprise animations were:  

  1. Create your scene
  2. Show curiosity
  3. Add a surprise

Sometimes projects had a reaction in them but others relied on creating a reaction in the user watching the animation. With this in mind we moved the Reaction step and added it as an optional upgrade. We also added graphics to each step to explain the step position in the animation timeline.

A new option to remix one of the example projects was added to this project as a starting point if creators were short of time, needed help with ideas, or had perhaps already thought of an extension to the example animations. 

A filmstrip that contains three images.

One Invent project

Our final project in the path is where creators use their skills to meet a project brief for a particular audience.

The project brief has been revamped to make it more concise with the Reflection step becoming a checklist to keep track of how the project is meeting the brief. 

Invent: I made you a book

This project consists of creating a book with multiple pages to tell a story or share facts. The major change to this project is a reorganisation of the steps. The original planning step has now split in two — the first step to decide the high-level purpose and audience for the book and the second step to plan the book in more detail using either the starter Scratch project or our new planning sheet

A storyboard with images that have been drawn by hand.
Creators can use the new planning sheet to sketch their ideas on paper

The build and test step has also been restructured to break up the skills into categories and make the tasks clearer. At the end of the step, creators are encouraged to ask for feedback then repeat the process to work on their book until it is ready to share.  

What next?

We will start refreshing another path soon but in the meantime, we hope you and your creators enjoy using the revamped Introduction to Scratch path. We would love to hear your feedback on any of our projects via the feedback button on the bottom of each project page. 

Two learners working together at a computer.

We look forward to seeing what your creators make. 

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Take part in the Hour of Code

Post Syndicated from Liz Smart original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/hour-of-code-activities/

Launched in 2013, Hour of Code is an initiative to introduce young people to computer science using fun one-hour tutorials. To date, over 100 million young people have completed an hour of code with it. 

A girl doing a physical computing project.

Although the Hour of Code website is accessible all year round, every December for Computer Science Education Week people worldwide run their own Hour of Code events. Each year we love seeing many Code Clubs, CoderDojos, and young people at home across the community complete their Hour of Code. You can register your 2022 Hour of Code event now to run between 5 and 11 December. 

To support your event, we have pulled together a bumper set of our free coding projects, which can each be completed in just one hour. You will find these activities on the Hour of Code website.

Two young digital makers using Raspberry Pi

There’s something for all ages and levels of experience, so put an hour aside and help young people make something fabulous with code:

Ages 7–11

Beginner

For younger creators new to coding, a Scratch project is a great place to start. 

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With our Space talk project, they can create a space scene with characters that ‘emote’ to share their thoughts or feelings using sounds, colours, and actions. Creators program the character emotes using Scratch blocks to control graphic effects, costume animation, and sound effects. 

Alternatively, our Stress ball project lets them code an onscreen stress ball that reacts to user clicks. Creators use the Paint and Sound editors in Scratch to personalise a clickable stress ball, and they add Scratch blocks to control graphic effects, costume animation, and sound effects. 

We love this fun stress ball example sent to us recently by young creator April from the United States:

Another great option is to use Code Club World, which is a free tool to help children who are new to coding.  

Creators can develop a character avatar, design a T-shirt, make some music, and more.

Comfortable

For 7- to 11-year-olds who are more comfortable with block-based coding, our project Broadcasting spells is ideal to choose. With the project, they connect Scratch blocks to code a wand that casts spells turning sprites into toads, and growing and shrinking them. Creators use broadcast blocks to transform multiple sprites at once, and they create sound effects with the Sound editor in Scratch. 

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Ages 11–14

Beginner

We have three exciting projects for trying text-based coding during Hour of Code in this category. The first, Anime expressions, is one of our brand-new ‘Introduction to web development’ projects. With this project, young people create a responsive webpage with text and images for an anime drawing tutorial. They write HTML to structure the webpage and CSS styles to apply layout, colour palettes, and fonts. 

For a great introduction to coding with Python, we have the project Hello world from our ‘Introduction to Python’ path. With this project, creators write Python text-based code to create an interactive program that shows text and emojis based on user input. They learn about variables as they use them to store text and numbers, and they learn about writing functions to organise code and do calculations, retrieve the current date and time, and make a customisable dice. 

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LED firefly is a fantastic physical making project in which young people use a Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller and basic electronic components to create a blinking LED firefly. They program the LED’s light patterns with MicroPython code and activate it via a switch they make themselves using jumper wires.

A blinking LED with paper wings.

Comfortable

For 11- to 14-year-olds who are already comfortable with HTML, the Flip treat webcards project is a fun option. With this, they create a webpage showing a set of cards that flip when a visitor’s mouse pointer hovers over them. Creators use CSS styling and animations to add interactivity, then they customise the cards with fancy fonts and colour gradients.

Young people who have already done some Python coding can try out our project Target practice. With this project they create a game, using the p5 graphics library to draw a colourful target, and writing code so that the player scores points by hitting the target’s rings with arrows. While they create the project, they learn about RGB colours, shape positioning with x and y coordinates, and decisions using if, else-if, and else code statements. 

Ages 14+

Beginner

Our project Charting champions is a great introduction to data visualisation and analysis for coders aged 15 and older. With the project, they will discover the power of the Python programming language as they store Olympic medal data in lists and use the pygal library to create an interactive chart.

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Comfortable

Teenage coders who feel comfortable with Python programming can use our project Solar system simulator to code an animated, interactive solar system model using the Python p5 graphics library. Their model will be interactive, as they’ll use dictionaries to store planet facts that display when a user clicks on an orbiting planet.

Coding for Hour of Code and beyond

Now is the time to register your Hour of Code event, then decide which project you’d like to support young people to create. You can download certificates for each of the creators from the Hour of Code certificates page.

And make sure to check out our project paths so you know what projects you can help the young people you support to code beyond this one hour of code. 

We don’t just create activities so that other people can experience coding and digital making — we also get involved ourselves!

Two members of the Code Club working at computers.

Recently, our teams who support the Code Club and CoderDojo networks got together to make LED fireflies. We are excited to get coding again as part of Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week.

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At what age can a child start coding?

Post Syndicated from Marc Scott original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/what-age-can-a-child-start-coding/

Coding, or computer programming, is a way of writing instructions so that computers can complete tasks. Those instructions can be as simple as ‘move a toy robot forwards for three seconds and then make a beep’, or more complicated instructions, such as ‘check the weather in my local area and then adjust the heating in my house accordingly’.

A boy types code at a CoderDojo coding club.

Why should kids learn to code? 

Even if your child never writes computer programs, it is likely they already use software that coders have created, and in the future they may work with, manage, or hire people who write code. This is why it is important that everyone has an understanding of what coding is all about, and why we at the Raspberry Pi Foundation are passionate about inspiring and supporting children to learn to code for free.

When young people are given opportunities to create with code, they can do incredible things — from expressing themselves, to addressing real-world issues, to trying out the newest technologies. Learning to code also helps them develop resilience and problem-solving skills.

But at what age should you start your child on their journey to learn about coding? Is there a too young age? Will they miss out on opportunities if they start too late?

No matter at what age you introduce children to coding, one key element is empowering them to create things that are relevant to them. Above all else, coding should be a fun activity for kids.

Learning programming 

You might be surprised how young you can start children on their coding adventure. My own child started to learn when they were about six years old. And you can never be too old to learn to code. I didn’t start learning to program until I was in my late thirties, and I know many learners who decided to take up coding after their retirement.

Acquiring new skills and knowledge is often best accomplished when you are young. Learning a programming language is a little like learning a new spoken or written language. There are strict rules, special words to be used in specific orders and in different contexts, and even different ways of thinking depending on the languages you already know.

Two children code together on Code Club World.

When people first introduced computer programming into the world, there were big barriers to entry. People had to pay thousands of dollars for a computer and program it using punch cards. It was very unlikely that any child had access to the money or the skills required to create computer programs. Today’s world is very different, with computers costing as little as $35, companies creating tools and toys aimed at coding for children, and organisations such as ours, the Raspberry Pi Foundation and our children’s coding club networks Code Club and CoderDojo, that have the mission to introduce children to the world of coding for free.

Getting hands-on with coding

By the age of about four, a child is likely to have the motor skills and understanding to begin to interact with simple toys that introduce the very basics of coding. Bee-Bot and Cubelets are both excellent examples of child-friendly toy robots that can be programmed.

Bee-Bot is a small floor robot that children program by pressing simple combinations of direction buttons so that it moves following the instructions provided. This is a great way of introducing children to the concept of sequencing. Sequencing is the way computers follow instructions one after the other, executing each command in turn.

A woman and child follow instructions to build a digital making project at South London Raspberry Jam.

Cubelets can be used to introduce physical computing to children. With Cubelets, children can snap together physical blocks to create their own unique robots. These robots will perform actions such as moving or lighting up, depending on their surroundings, such as the distance your hand is from the robot or the brightness of light in the room. These are a good example of teaching how inputs to a program can affect the outputs — another key concept in coding.

Visual programming 

As your child gets older and becomes more used to using technology, and their eye-hand coordination improves, they might want to try out tools for visual programming. They can use free online programming platforms, such as ScratchJr on a tablet or phone or Scratch or Code Club World in a computer’s web browser. To learn more about these visual programming tools and what your child can create with them, read our blog post How do I start my child coding.

a sighted boy using Scratch on a laptop at home

Children can begin to explore Scratch or Code Club World from about the age of six, although it is important to understand that all young people develop at different speeds. We offer many free resources to help learners get started with visual, block-based programming languages, and the easiest places to start are our Introduction to Scratch path and the home island on Code Club World. Children and adults of all ages can learn a lot from Scratch, develop their own engaging activities, and most importantly, have fun doing so.

Text-based coding 

At around the ages of nine or ten, children’s typing skills are often sufficient for them to start using text-based languages. Again, it is important that they are allowed to have fun and express themselves, especially if they are moving on from Scratch. Our Introduction to Python path allows children to continue creating graphics while they program, as they are used to doing in Scratch; our Introduction to Web path will let them build their own simple websites to allow them to express their creative selves.

Two girls code at a laptop.
Picture: Conor McCabe Photography

There is no correct age to start learning

In my time at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, I have taught children as young as five and adults as old as seventy. There is no correct age at which a child can begin coding, and there are opportunities to begin at almost any age. The key to introducing coding to anyone is to make it engaging, relevant, and most of all fun!

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How do I start my child coding?

Post Syndicated from Marc Scott original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/how-do-i-start-my-child-coding/

You may have heard a lot about coding and how important it is for children to start learning about coding as early as possible. Computers have become part of our lives, and we’re not just talking about the laptop or desktop computer you might have in your home or on your desk at work. Your phone, your microwave, and your car are all controlled by computers, and those computers need instructions to tell them what to do. Coding, or computer programming, involves writing those instructions.

A boy types code at a CoderDojo coding club.

If children discover a love for coding, they will have an avenue to make the things they want to make; to write programs and build projects that they find useful, fun, or interesting. So how do you give your child the opportunity to learn about coding? We’ve listed some free resources and suggested activities below.

Scratch Junior 

If you have a young child under about 7 years of age, then a great place to begin is with ScratchJr. This is an app available on Android and iOS phones and tablets, that lets children learn the basics of programming, without having to worry about making mistakes.

ScratchJr programming interface.

Code Club World

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has developed a series of activities for young learners, on their journey to developing their computing skills. Code Club World provides a platform for children to play with code to design their own avatar, make it dance, and play music. Plus they can share their creations with other learners. 

“You could have a go too and discover Scratch together. The platform is designed for complete beginners and it is great fun to play with.”

Carol Thornhill, Engineering Science MA, Mathematics teacher

Scratch

For 7- to 11-year-old children, Scratch is a good way to begin their journey in coding, or to progress from ScratchJr. Like ScratchJr, Scratch is a block-based language, allowing children to assemble code to produce games, animations, stories, or even use some of the add-ons to interact with electronic devices and explore physical computing.

A girl with her Scratch project
A girl with a Scratch project she has coded.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has hundreds of Scratch projects that your child can try out, but the best place to begin is with our Introduction to Scratch path, which will provide your child with the basic skills they need, and then encourage them to build projects that are relevant to them, culminating in their creation of their own interactive ebook.

Your child may never tire of Scratch, and that is absolutely fine — it is a fully functioning programming language that is surprisingly powerful, when you learn to understand everything it can do. Another advantage of Scratch is that it provides easy access to graphics, sounds, and interactivity that can be trickier to achieve in other programming languages.

Python 

If you’re looking for more traditional programming languages for your child to progress on to, especially when they reach 12 years of age or beyond, then we like to direct our young learners to the Python programming language and to the languages that the World Wide Web is built on, particularly HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Animation coded in Python of an archery target disk.
An animation coded using Python.

Our Python resources cover the basics of using the language, and then progress from there. Python is one of the most widely used languages when it comes to the fields of artificial intelligence and data science, and we have resources to support your child in learning about these fascinating aspects of technology. Our projects can even introduce your child to the world of electronics and physical computing with activities that use the inexpensive Raspberry Pi Pico, and a handful of electronic components, enabling your kids to create a wide variety of art installations and useful gadgets.

“Trying Python doesn’t mean you can’t go back to Scratch or switch between Scratch and Python for different purposes. I still use Scratch for some projects myself!”

Tracy Gardner, Computer Science PhD, former IBM Software Architect and currently a project writer at the Raspberry Pi Foundation

A young person codes at a Raspberry Pi computer.
Python is a great text-based programming language for young people to learn.

Coding projects

On our coding tutorials website we have many different projects to help your child learn coding and digital making. These range from beginner resources like the Introduction to Scratch path to more advanced activities such as the Introduction to Unity path, where children can learn how to make 3D worlds and games. 

“Our new project paths can be tackled by young creators on their own, without adult intervention. Paths are structured so that they build skills and confidence in the early stages, and then provide more open-ended tasks and inspirational ideas that creators can adapt or work from.”

Rik Cross, BSc (Hons), PGCE, former teacher and Director of Informal Learning at the Raspberry Pi Foundation

Web development 

The Web is integral to many of our lives, and we believe that it is important for children to have an understanding of the technology that drives it. That is why we have an Introduction to the Web path that allows children to develop their own web pages, focusing on the kinds of webpages that they want to build, be that sending a greeting card, telling a story, or creating a showcase of their projects.

A girl has fun learning to code at home on a tablet sitting on a sofa.
It’s empowering for children to learn to how the websites they visit are created with code.

Coding clubs 

Coding clubs are a great place for children to have fun and become more confident with coding, where they can learn through making and share their creations with each other. The Raspberry Pi Foundation operates the world’s largest network of coding clubs — CoderDojo and Code Club

“I have a new group of creators at my Code Club every year and my favourite part is when they realise they really can let their imagination run wild. You want to make an animation where a talking pineapple chases a snowman — absolutely. You want to make a piece of scalable art out of 1000 pixelated cartoon musical instruments — go right ahead. If you can code it, you can make it ”

Liz Smart, Code Club and CoderDojo mentor, former Solutions Architect and project writer for the Raspberry Pi Foundation

Three teenage girls at a laptop.
At Code Club and CoderDojo, many young people enjoy teaming up to code projects together.

Coding challenges 

Once your child has learnt some of the basics, they may enjoy entering a coding challenge! The European Astro Pi Challenge programme allows young people to write code and actually have it run on the International Space Station, and Coolest Projects gives children a chance to showcase their projects from across the globe.

A Coolest Projects participant
A girl with her coded creation at an in-person Coolest Projects showcase.

Free resources 

No matter what technology your child wants to engage with, there is a wealth of free resources and materials available from organisations such as the Raspberry Pi Foundation and Scratch Foundation, that prepare young people for 21st century life. Whether they want to become professional software engineers, tinker with some electronics, or just have a play around … encourage them to explore some coding projects, and see what they can learn, make, and do!


Author: Marc Scott, BSc (Hons) is a former Science, Computer Science, and Engineering teacher and the Content Lead for Projects at the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

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Celebrate Scratch Week with us

Post Syndicated from Joanne Vincent original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/scratch-week/

Scratch Week is a global celebration of Scratch that takes place from 15 to 21 May this year. Below, we’ve put together some free resources to help get kids coding with this easy-to-use, block-based programming language. If you’re not sure what Scratch is, check out our introduction video for parents.

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Visit Scratch Island on Code Club World

Code Club World is a great place to start coding for children who have never done any coding or programming before. The Code Club World online platform lets them begin their coding journey with fun activities, starting by creating their own personal avatar.

The islands on Code Club World.

Then on Scratch Island, kids can code a game to find a hidden bug, design a fun ‘silly eyes’ app, or animate a story. No experience necessary! We’ve just added a parents’ guide to explain how Code Club World works.

Explore Scratch projects 

For kids who feel ready to move beyond the basics of Scratch this Scratch Week, our Projects site offers a catalogue of projects that further enhance kids’ coding skills as they earn badges and explore, design, and invent.

A platform game your kids can code in Scratch with our project path.

With the More Scratch path, they will create six projects to make apps, games, and simulations using message broadcasting, if..then and if..then..else decisions, and variables. Then with the Further Scratch path, they can explore the advanced features of Scratch in another six projects to use boolean logic, functions, and clones while creating apps, games, computer-generated art, and simulations.

Discover young people’s Scratch creations

Be inspired by the amazing things young tech creators worldwide code in Scratch by visiting the Coolest Projects Global 2022 showcase. Young people are showing off Scratch games, stories, art, and more. In our Coolest Projects online gallery, these creations are displayed amongst hundreds of others from around the world — it’s the ideal place to get inspired.

A young coder shows off her tech project for Coolest Projects to two other young tech creators.

Learn something new with our Introduction to Scratch course 

Are you curious about coding too? If you would like to start learning so you can better help young people with their creative projects, our online course Introduction to Programming with Scratch is perfect for you. It’s available on-demand, so you can join at any time and receive four weeks’ free access (select the ‘limited access’ option when you register). This course is a fun, inspiring, and colourful starting point if you have never tried coding before. 

If you’re a parent looking for more coding activities to share with your kids, you can sign up to our parent-focused newsletter.

We hope you enjoy exploring these resources during Scratch Week. 

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Get an easy start to coding with our new free online course

Post Syndicated from Michael Conterio original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/learn-to-code-new-free-online-course-scratch-programming/

Are you curious about coding and computer programming but don’t know how to begin? Do you want to help your children at home, or learners in your school, with their digital skills, but you’re not very confident yet? Then our new, free, and on-demand online course Introduction to Programming with Scratch course is a fun, creative, and colourful starting point for you.

An illustration of Scratch coding.

Being able to code can help you do lots of things — from expressing yourself to helping others practice their skills, and from highlighting real-world issues to controlling a robot. Whether you want to get a taste of what coding is about, or you want to learn so that you can support young people, our Introduction to Programming with Scratch course is the perfect place to start if you’ve never tried any coding before.

Scratch course presenters Vasu and Mark.
Your course presenters, Vasu and Mark.

On this on-demand course, Mark and Vasu from our team will help you take your very first steps on your programming journey. 

You can code — we’ll show you how

On the course, you’ll use the programming language Scratch, a beginner-friendly, visual programming language particularly suitable for creating animations and games. All you need is our course and a computer or tablet with a web browser and internet connection that can access the online Scratch editor.

You can code in Scratch without having to memorise and type in commands. Instead, by snapping blocks together, you’ll take control of ‘sprites’, which are characters and objects on the screen that you can move around with the code you create.

A video of what Scratch coding looks like.
This is how you build Scratch programs.

As well as learning what you can do with Scratch, you’ll be learning basic programming concepts that are the same for all programming languages. You’ll see how the order of commands is important (sequencing), you’ll make the computer repeat actions (repetition), and you’ll write programs that do different things in different circumstances, for example responding to your user’s actions (selection). Later on, you’ll also make your own reusable code blocks (abstraction).

You can create your own programs and share them

Throughout the course you’ll learn to make your own programs step by step. In the final week, Mark and Vasu will show you how you can create musical projects and interact with your program using a webcam.

A Scratch coding project.
By the end of the course, you will create a program to control a Scratch character using your live webcam video.

Vasu and Mark will encourage you to share your programs and join the Scratch online community. You will discover how you can explore other people’s Scratch programs for inspiration and support, and how to build on the code they’ve created.

A Scratch coding project.
Thousands of people share their projects in the Scratch online community — you could be one of them.

Sign up for the course now!

The course starts for the first time on Monday 14 February, but it is available on demand, so you can join it at any time. You’ll get four weeks’ access to the course no matter when you sign up.

For the first four weeks that the course is available, and every three months after that, people from our team will join in to support you and help answer your questions in the comments sections.

If you’re a teacher in England, get free extended access by signing up through Teach Computing here.

And if you want to do more Scratch coding…

You can find more free resources here! These are the newest Scratch pathways on our project site, which you can also share with the young people in your life:

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Introducing Code Club World: a new way for young people to learn to code at home

Post Syndicated from Laura Kirsop original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/code-club-world-free-online-platform-young-people-children-learn-to-code-at-home/

Today we are introducing you to Code Club World — a free online platform where young people aged 9 to 13 can learn to make stuff with code.

Images from Code Club World, a free online platform for children who want to learn to code

In Code Club World, young people can:

  • Start out by creating their personal robot avatar
  • Make music, design a t-shirt, and teach their robot avatar to dance!
  • Learn to code on islands with structured activities
  • Discover block-based and text-based coding in Scratch and Python
  • Earn badges for their progress 
  • Share their coding creations with family, friends, and the Code Club World community

Learning to code at home with Code Club World: meaningful, fun, flexible

When we spoke to parents and children about learning at home during the pandemic, it became clear to us that they were looking for educational tools that the children can enjoy and master independently, and that are as fun and social as the computer games and other apps the children love.

A girl has fun learning to code at home, sitting with a laptop on a sofa, with a dog sleeping next to her and her father writing code too.
Code Club World is educational, and as fun as the games and apps young people love.

What’s more, a free tool for learning to code at home is particularly important for young people who are unable to attend coding clubs in person. We believe every child should have access to a high-quality coding and digital making education. And with this in mind, we set out to create Code Club World, an online environment as rich and engaging as a face-to-face extracurricular learning experience, where all young people can learn to code.

The Code Club World activities are mapped to our research-informed Digital Making Framework — a coding and digital making curriculum for non-formal settings. That means when children are in the Code Club World environment, they are learning to code and use digital making to independently create their ideas and address challenges that matter to them.

Islands in the Code Club World online platform for children who want to learn to code for free.
Welcome to Code Club World — so many islands to explore!

By providing a structured pathway through the coding activities, a reward system of badges to engage and motivate learners, and a broad range of projects covering different topics, Code Club World supports learners at every stage, while making the activities meaningful, fun, and flexible.

A girl has fun learning to code at home on a tablet sitting on a sofa.
Code Club World’s home island works as well on mobile phones and tablets as on computers.

We’ve also designed Code Club World to be mobile-friendly, so if a young person uses a phone or tablet to visit the platform, they can still code cool things they will be proud of.

Created with the community

Since we started developing Code Club World, we have been working with a community of more than 1000 parents, educators, and children who are giving us valuable input to shape the direction of the platform. We’ve had some fantastic feedback from them:

“I’ve not coded before, but found this really fun! … I LOVED making the dance. It was so much fun and made me laugh!”

Learner, aged 11

“I love the concept of having islands to explore in making the journey through learning coding, it is fabulous and eye-catching.”

Parent

The platform is still in beta status — this means we’d love you to share it with young people in your family, school, or community so they can give their feedback and help make Code Club World even better.

Together, we will ensure every child has an equal opportunity to learn to code and make things that change their world.

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Free computer science courseware and hardware for American educators

Post Syndicated from Matt Richardson original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/free-computer-science-courseware-hardware-for-american-educators/

Today we’re announcing two brand-new, fantastic, free online courses for educators in the USA. And to kickstart their learning journey, we are giving qualified US-based educators the chance to get a free Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller hardware kit. This is all thanks to our partners at Infosys Foundation USA, who are committed to expanding access to computer science and maker education in public schools across the United States.

In a classroom, a teacher and a student look at a computer screen while the student types on the keyboard.
Bring computer science to your students with the help of our new free online courses.

You can find both new courses on the Pathfinders Online Institute platform, which supports US classroom educators to bring high-quality computer science and maker education content to their kindergarten through 12th grade students. And best of all, the platform is completely free!

Learn how to teach the essentials of programming

The first course we’ve created for you is called Programming essentials in Scratch. It supports teachers to introduce the essentials of programming to fourth to eighth grade students. The course covers the key concepts of programming, such as variables, selection, and iteration. In addition to learning how to teach programming effectively, teachers will also discover how to inspire their students and help them create music, interactive quizzes, dance animations, and more.

A girl sits by a desktop computer, with her Scratch coding project showing on the screen.
Scratch is a block-based programming language and ideal for teaching key programming concepts.

Discover how to teach physical computing

Our second new course for you is called Design, build, and code a rover with Raspberry Pi Pico. It gives teachers of fourth to eighth grade students everything they need to start teaching physical computing in their classroom. Teachers will develop their students’ knowledge of the subject by using basic circuits, coding a Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller to work with motors and LEDs, and designing algorithms to navigate a rover through a maze. By the end of the course, teachers will have all the resources they need to inspire students and help them explore practical programming, system design, and prototyping.

On a wooden desktop, electronic components, a Raspberry Pi Pico, and a motor next to a keyboard.
Take our free course to learn how to build and code a rover with your students.

Get one of 1,000 free hardware kits

And thanks to the generous support of Infosys Foundation USA, we’re able to provide qualified educators with a FREE kit of materials to participate in the Design, build, and code a rover with Raspberry Pi Pico course. We’re especially excited about this because the kit includes our first-ever microcontroller, Raspberry Pi Pico. This offer is available to 1,000 US-based K–12 public or charter school teachers on a first-come, first-served basis.

To claim your kit, just create a free account on Pathfinders Online Institute and start the course. On the first page of the course, you’ll receive instructions on how to apply for a free kit.

A soldered Raspberry Pi Pico on a breadboard.
The first 1,000 qualified educators who sign up for Design, build, and code a rover with Raspberry Pi Pico receive all a free hardware kit.

If you’re not a qualified educator, or if you’ve missed out on the opportunity to get the free hardware, we still welcome you to join the course! You can find the materials yourself, or purchase the kit from our partners at PiShop.us.

Thank you to Infosys Foundation USA

All of us at the Raspberry Pi Foundation want to thank the Infosys Foundation USA team for collaborating with us on this new resource and learning opportunity for educators. We appreciate and share their commitment to support computer science and maker education.

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Digital making projects about protecting our planet

Post Syndicated from Emma Posey original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/free-digital-making-projects-protecting-our-planet/

Explore our new free pathway of environmental digital making projects for young people! These new step-by-step projects teach learners Scratch coding and include real-world data — from data about the impact of deforestation on wildlife to sea turtle tracking information.

By following along with the digital making projects online, young people will discover how they can use technology to protect our planet, all while improving their computing skills.

Photo of a young woman holding an origami bird up to the camera
One of the new projects is an automatic creature counter based on colour recognition with Scratch

The projects help young people affect change

In the projects, learners are introduced to 5 of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with an environment focus:

  • Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Life Below Water
  • Life on Land
Screenshot of a Scratch project showing a panda and the Earth
The first project in the new pathway is an animation about the UN’s five SDGs focused on the environment.

Technology, science, maths, geography, and design all play a part in the projects. Following along with the digital making projects, young people learn coding and computing skills while drawing on a range of data from across the world. In this way they will discover how computing can be harnessed to collect environmental data, to explore causes of environmental degradation, to see how humans influence the environment, and ultimately to mitigate negative effects.

Where does the real-world data come from?

To help us develop these environmental digital making projects, we reached out to a number of organisations with green credentials:

Green Sea Turtle Alasdair Davies Raspberry Pi
A sea turtle is being tagged so its movements can be tracked

Inspiring young people about coding with real-world data

The digital making projects, created with 9- to 11-year-old learners in mind, support young people on a step-by-step pathway to develop their skills gradually. Using the block-based visual programming language Scratch, learners build on programming foundations such as sequencing, loops, variables, and selection. The project pathway is designed so that learners can apply what they learned in earlier projects when following along with later projects!

The final project in the pathway, ‘Turtle tracker’, uses real-world data of migrating sea turtles!

We’re really excited to help learners explore the relationship between technology and the environment with these new digital making projects. Connecting their learning to real-world scenarios not only allows young people to build their knowledge of computing, but also gives them the opportunity to affect change and make a difference to their world!

Discover the new digital making projects yourself!

With Green goals, learners create an animation to present the United Nations’ environment-focused Sustainable Development Goals.

Through Save the shark, young people explore sharks’ favourite food source (fish, not humans!), as well as the impact of plastic in the sea, which harms sharks in their natural ocean habitat.

Illustration of a shark with sunglasses

With the Tree life simulator project guide, learners create a project that shows the impact of land management and deforestation on trees, wildlife, and the environment.

Computers can be used to study wildlife in areas where it’s not practical to do so in person. In Count the creatures, learners create a wildlife camera using their computer’s camera and Scratch’s new video sensing extension!

Electricity is important. After all, it powers the computer that learners are using! In Electricity generation, learners input real data about the type and amount of natural resources countries across the world use to generate electricity, and they then compare the results using an animated data visualisation.

Understanding the movements of endangered turtles helps to protect these wonderful animals. In this new Turtle tracker project, learners use tracking data from real-life turtles to map their movements off the coast of West Africa.

Code along wherever you are!

All of our projects are free to access online at any time and include step-by-step instructions. They can be undertaken in a club, classroom, or at home. Young people can share the project they create with their peers, friends, family, and the wider Scratch community.

Visit the Protect our planet pathway to experience the projects yourself.

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Learn at home #4: All about Scratch

Post Syndicated from Katie Gouskos original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/learn-at-home-scratch-beyond-basics-community/

There’s no question that families have faced disruptions and tough challenges over the last few months. For the parents and carers who’ve been supporting their children with learning at home, it can feel overwhelming, stressful, rewarding — or all three! As many children are still carrying on with learning at home, we are supporting them with extra resources, and parents with support tutorials.

In our last blog post for parents, we talked to you about debugging — finding and fixing errors in code. This week we’re covering the amazing things young people can do and learn with Scratch — it’s not just for beginners!

Getting the most out of Scratch

Scratch is a block-based programming tool that lets you create lots of different projects. It’s often one of the first programming tools children use in primary school. We’ve made a video introduction to Scratch in case you’re less familiar with it.

If your child at home is ready to try more challenging coding tasks, Scratch is still a great tool for them, as they can use it to build some truly epic projects.

Joel Bayubasire CoderDojo

In this video, Mark shows you examples from the Scratch community and signposts useful resources that will support you and your children as they develop their confidence in Scratch.

Scratch is a great tool for building complex, unique, and challenging projects. For example, the Scratch game Fortnite Z involves 13,500 Scratch blocks and took more than four months to develop. People have also built astounding 3D graphic projects in Scratch!

3D model of a glycine molecule
A 3D model of a molecule, built in Scratch

You can find other amazing examples if you explore the Coolest Projects online showcase. Our free annual tech showcase for young people has lots of great Scratch projects: plenty of inspiration for you and your young people at home.

Exploring and learning in the Scratch community 

The Scratch community is a great place for young people to safely share their projects with each other all year round, and to like and comment on them. It’s a real treasure trove they can explore to find inspiration and learning opportunities, and for young people who are spending more time at home, it offers a way to connect to peers around the world.

In this video, Katharine shows you how the team behind Scratch keeps the community safe, where you as a parent can find the information you need, and how your child will engage with the community.

Code along with us! 

To keep young people entertained and learning, we’re running a Digital Making at Home series. You’ll find new, free code-along videos every Monday, with different themes and projects for all levels of experience. We have lots of Scratch code-alongs on offer! We also live-stream a code-along session every Wednesday at 14:00 BST at rpf.io/home.

Digital Making at Home from the Raspberry Pi Foundation V1

We want your feedback

We’ve been asking parents what they’d like to see as part of our initiative to support them and the young people they care for. They’ve sent us some great suggestions so far! If you’d like to share your thoughts too, email us at [email protected].

Sign up for our bi-weekly emails, tailored to your needs

Sign up now to start receiving free activities suitable to your child’s age and experience level straight to your inbox. And let us know what you as a parent or guardian need help with, and what you’d like more or less of from us.


PS All of our resources are completely free. This is made possible thanks to the generous donations of individuals and organisations. Learn how you can help too!

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