Young people around the world learn about computer programming through Scratch, a block-based coding platform developed by the MIT Media Lab in 2007. It is currently used in 150 countries and available in over 40 languages. The visual blocks are put together like puzzle pieces, making it easy to learn, while introducing basic programming concepts like variables, loops, and conditionals. Scratch is a fun and easy to use way for students to create interactive stories, games, and animations with minimal instruction. As a first programming language, Scratch is a springboard for the 21st-century skills of computational thinking, creativity, and collaboration.
In this class, we will start with Scratch (no experience necessary), and then apply what we learn to Python. This general purpose, high-level programming language will introduce students to simple syntax, interpreting error messages, and the importance of debugging. Emphasizing code readability, Python is often the next step in a student’s entry into the world of computer science.