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YouthALIVE and Scratch

YouthALIVE is an afterschool club for middle schoolers that takes place at the Museum.

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A few weeks ago, we encouraged the students to do some simple digital programming projects.  The students explored with 3D printing, our EggBot, and Scratch.

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Scratch (you can access their website here) is an amazing program developed by MIT.  Scratch is a a great way for children to explore simple computer programming.  The interface is very intuitive and the program is extremely open ended.

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The YouthALIVE students worked in groups and explored Scratch for two days.  They had a lot of fun drawing and modifying their own characters/sprites.  They were then able to manipulate their characters by programming them to do certain things like change color and move around the screen.

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They especially liked the fact that you could record your own voice and then program that into your project.  There were some really funny sound effects created during these two classes.  The students had a lot of fun exploring Scratch.  It is really empowering to realize that you can create your own form of fun instead of just playing a pre-existing game.

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Easily the most funny thing to come out of these two classes (other than Curtis’ voice recording for a spinning, cartoon dragon animation) was the debate over “light sabers” versus “life savers.”  The debate culminated with the quote, “they’re called ‘life savers’ because they save lives!”  Too funny.

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As always, working with the YouthALIVE students is a joy for the Teaching Artists in MAKESHOP.

-Kevin

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