Programming for kids

Advertised for 8 and up…

Scratch is an excellent little program developed at MIT to introduce beginners to programming in a very gentle and visual way. I am the programming mentor for our team and am using it to attact much needed help to my group. It is totally drag-and-drop and appeals to girls as much as it does to boys. The learning curve is very flat and gets them writing scripts in minutes.

While I will need to do more formal lessons at some point, at least Scratch shows them how easy and fun programming can be. A similar program called Alice may also be worth checking out if you want to give students a simple and fun intro to programming.

I’d love to hear from anyone else who’s discovered any of these teaching tools and what they plan to do with them.

Thanks,
Joe Alburty
Team 1763

We’ve been using scratch for a few years in my school system. It is a very good introduction to programming for younger students. My school’s ITRT introduced me to using a Picoboard with scratch. I’m thinking of introducing it to our FLL teams over the summer.