Scratch Foundation Update: Summer 2016
One of the things I love about Scratch is the incredible variety of projects kids create, remix, and share on the site. Every day, thousands of kids create projects that reflect their interests, from fashion to food, dance parties to dress up games.
We’re happy that more than 13 million young people around the world use Scratch, yet numbers and statistics are not how the Scratch Team defines success. This variety in projects shows us that kids are using Scratch to make projects they’re interested in, are delighted by, or care deeply about. If all Scratch projects looked the same, it would suggest that kids were making things they were not very passionate about. For more on the design principles behind Scratch, check out this blog post by Mitchel Resnick, who leads the team at the MIT Media Lab that develops Scratch.
Expanding our Reach and Collaborating with Others
One of our goals at the Scratch Foundation is to provide all kids, from all backgrounds, with opportunities to create, share, and learn with Scratch. Since our last update, more than two million young people around the world have joined the Scratch community — that’s about 18,000 new members each day, and growing. It’s not easy to reach and support millions of young people on our own, so we work with like-minded organizations to expand our reach.
For nearly a year, the MIT Scratch Team has been collaborating with Cartoon Network to bring Scratch and Cartoon Network characters to more young people, in new ways. In our latest project, the Scratch Team created the Make It Fly! video and tutorial using characters from The Powerpuff Girls series. We are especially encouraged by the diversity of projects kids are sharing in the Make It Fly! studio — they’re expanding on the general concept of making something move and fly, and they’re creating projects that express their own ideas.
Earlier this year, we celebrated International Jazz Day with the Scratch Jazz project, led by Scratch team member Eric Rosenbaum. The team added new musical instrument samples and music loops to the Scratch sound library. A new video and tutorial showed Scratchers how to incorporate music into their projects, and an online Scratch Design Studio inspired hundreds of musical projects that took a variety of forms.
Meet, Share, and Learn: Scratch Events
The Scratch community is a special blend of online engagement and offline activity. Over the past few months, the community celebrated two big in-person events.
In May, the Scratch community organized 659 Scratch Day celebrations across 74 countries. This Scratch Day recap, shows the broad range of events, activities, and people that make up the Scratch community.
In August, we celebrated the many paths and many styles of Scratch, and welcomed educators, developers, and Scratch enthusiasts from 25 countries to the Scratch Conference hosted by the Scratch Team at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA. This blog post, from the Scratch Foundation’s My Nguyen, provides insights and reflections on the conference.
In August, the Scratch Team released Teacher Accounts, a feature designed to support teachers who use Scratch in the classroom. A Scratch Teacher Account provides teachers with the ability to create student accounts, organize student projects into studios, and monitor student comments. For more information about Teacher Accounts, check out this FAQ and video.
The ScratchEd Team at the Harvard Graduate School of Education has been experimenting with educator “meetups”, playful and collaborative learning experiences that are co-designed and co-facilitated by participants. Information about organizing your own meetup can be found in the Meetup Guide and Website.
Scratch in the Classroom
The ScratchEd Team has also been collecting stories about educators who use Scratch in the classroom, which can be found in their new See Inside the Classroom series on the ScratchEd website.
New Scratch Cards are coming soon! Updated and redesigned to include 10 themes, the full-color, illustrated cards feature beginner-friendly activities to introduce kids to programming with Scratch.
Soon, the ScratchJr app for kids ages 5–7 will be available in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Thai, and Swedish.
Global Code Weeks
Last year, Scratch was widely used during “code weeks” around the world. With Code Week EU and Africa Code Week just a month away (October 15–23), and CS Ed Week (December 5–10) following soon after, we are eager to see what kids around the world will code and create with Scratch this year.
Scratch Foundation Executive Director
Scratch is the world’s largest coding platform for children, with more than 100M unique visitors per year. If you would like to support the ongoing development and innovation of the Scratch project and help us reach more young people, please consider making a donation to the Scratch Foundation.