Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Scratch Day 2013 @ MIT

On Saturday, May 18, I attended the annual Scratch Day at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge.  The event was divided into 6 areas: imagine, hack, share, make, discuss, and reflect.  In the imagine area, children, parents, and teachers were introduced to the Scratch programming language, learning the basics and being exposed to the new features of Scratch 2.0, which was released on May 9.  In the hack area, people sat at computers and tinkered with the software, in a hands-on show-and-tell.  In the share area, 15 students stood up on a stage and showed off some of their projects.  One project that was shared was an interactive carnival.  In the make area, there was a makey-makey obstacle course, a 2.0 bubble project, and a collaborative add-yourself-to-the-aquarium project.  In the discuss area, members of the ScratchEd team met with educators and parents, discussing Scratch 2.0 in the elementary classroom as well as in after school settings.  Lastly, in the reflect area, scratchers shared both what they love about scratch and why they keep coming back in order to help MIT improve the software.  Common themes were making games and animations, using one's imagination, and the flexibility of the program.  Scratch users posted comments on the wall answering questions such as: what do you do when you get stuck programming?  Individuals were also interviewed by members of the scratch team.

Most importantly, I introduced my daughter to scratch, and we created our first project together.  She is interested in creating her own "TV series."  She has been asking me non-stop since the event whether she can play with scratch at home.

-Megan Haddadi

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