By Malou van der Raaij, intern
Programming is no longer restricted to programmers! On March 6th, 2013 we held a workshop programming with Scratch in our series Fabschool Kids. Scratch is an application that learns children programming in a playful way.
With Scratch you can program by clicking boxes together, similar to working with Lego blocks. You can use it for creating games, art and stories. Children already know a lot about computers and it shows off in this workshop! Joek van Montfort and Helen Fermata (of Scratchweb.nl) are guiding the workshop and start with a brief explanation about what Scratch is and how it works.
Cards are handed out with small assignments. One of the children already knows Scratch and tells the two boys next to him what he can do with it. "You can make your own game and create a custom background". They fastly go through the cards and soon get the hang of it. Concentrated behind their laptops they start drawing a leaf and convert it into an animation. The leaf transforms into a talking rainbow flower! They are called forward to the big screen to look how the script is built. The children very quietly listen and concentrate at Joek’s explanation. The assignments are getting more complicated, but that poses no problem for the children.
I ask them if they understand what the actions in the script mean. "Yes, this box indicates that the color changes at each click and the block around it lets it repeat and..." I walk around to see how they respond to the various assignments and how they work together with others. They are proud of their creations and what they have accomplished. "Ours is really spectacular!". A girl asks me if I would like to sit next to her at a free laptop and she offers to make the script for me, something she just learned, so that I can join! The workshop is coming to an end which evokes a loud "can we play some more?!"
Have a look at the photos in this set at Flickr.