The Scratch team in the MIT Media Lab is gearing up to release a new version of Scratch designed to work on mobile devices. The team is also working on a way to integrate the physical world with Scratch using what they’re currently calling a “Scratch Pad.” Developers are testing these new features on a separate ScratchX site, where they’ve posted open source code for the various extensions that could work with other types of physical devices, such LEGO, WeDo, Arduinos, or even text-to-speech. The idea is to make it easier for students to write programs in Scratch that control or manipulate things they’ve built in the physical world. The developers are also building up the supportive materials they offer to teachers who want to get started using Scratch in the classroom. They’ve created learning resource cardsthat are freely downloadable and modifiable so teachers can change them to suit their needs.
Plus: Scratch Day is a global network of events that brings together young people from the Scratch community to share projects, learn from one another, and welcome newcomers. Last year more than 1,000 events were celebrated around the world. This year’s celebration will take place on May 12, 2018. Look for a Scratch Day in your community or organize your own.
SAM Space Education is a programming app for iOS that teaches students how to apply computational thinking to design algorithms and programs. It can be paired with hardware SAM Blocks that feature buttons, DC motors, LED lights, sliders, buzzers, and more.
Microsoft’s Imagine Cup is a global competition that empowers the next generation of computer science students to team up and use their creativity, passion, and knowledge of technology to create applications that shape how people live, work, and play.