Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Another Scratch Day

Scratch Day 2017

Remember last year, when we celebrated Scratch Day?
Or maybe you haven't heard of Scratch? This link will take you the page About Scratch, and this will show you where events celebrating Global Scratch Day are taking place.

Scratch Day 2018

Maria is still writing programs using MIT's online program that teaches computer programming. Her favorite Scratch activity is illustrating in vector lines. She's also learned to animate, and she likes using code to create games. Last May she volunteered, again, to teach what she knows about vector line illustration and graphics in Scratch, at the Global Scratch Day event in our area. As a group inspired by outreach, peer-mentoring, and making, playing and sharing... we love Scratch Day, and we are gratified to see our young maker, Maria, bring her skills and enthusiasm to this event where she enthusiastically and skillfully teaches new and intermediate programmers about the exciting possibilities in computer programming.

This year saw an even greater turn out for Scratch Day, compared with last year. There were more participants, and happily, more volunteers. Everything is overseen by Ido Tuchman, with help from Leslie Goldman, and a lot of professional engineers and programmers.

They've got a great venue, but if this continues to grow, we may need an even bigger space for next year!

Ido welcoming everyone to Scratch Day!

Maria's class, Vector Graphics, was in the second session of the day, so she stepped in to give one on one support to a beginning Scratch student. In no time, they had finished the tutorial, then moved on to developing an original game.

Not being too sure what the skill levels in the class would be, Maria decided to let her class be interactive and spontaneous. She shared her background and interest in Scratch, and then announced that she would like to share how games and programs can be enhanced with custom art and animations. Taking suggestions, and answering questions, she developed a lesson for a vector graphic animation. There was time to keep everyone caught up in the lesson, while adding more to the project, as the classe's skills and interests developed. The class and lessons stayed fresh, and engaging.

By applying her patience, practical knowledge, and her love of the subject, Maria was able to effectively teach and motivate, and make the lesson fun. And since the classes were larger than last year's classes, Maria was happy to have an assistant, Lucas, a Boy Scout, familiar with Scratch. They made a good team.

Maria brings her love of learning to her class, and it's infectious.

Every layer, and line of code used, created this vector graphic and animation, and was developed on the spot, based on ideas and questions from the class.

Scratch is a free learning tool from Mitch Resnick and the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. If you've ever wondered about writing code, creating software, being a programmer, we hope you will, no matter your age, visit Scratch, and give it a try. It's simple, encouraging, and made for sharing.

Here's what a local newspaper had to say about Scratch Day 2018. We can't wait for Scratch Day 2019!

Maria continues to enjoy Scratch, to illustrate, write code, to create games... this one was my Mother's Day gift! Move the teacup to catch falling chamomile flowers, and when the cup is full of flowers it becomes a cup of tea! She wrote this for me and my love of chamomile. And here she is sharing the game with her Tutu.

On a long train ride, Maria used Scratch to illustrate this original character...

And today, after we talked about the senseless death of a young woman, Maria, quietly reflecting, went to her desk, where she made art, in memory of Nia Wilson.

We send our deepest sympathy and kindest thoughts to Nia Wilson's family. We ache to think of anyone missing the chance to follow their dreams. No family should have to experience losing a child, and for it to be such a vicious and dark act, a crime of hate, makes the loss even more heartbreaking. We hope that there is even the smallest comfort for them knowing that their loss is felt, and mourned, that we are speaking Nia's name, lovingly, respectfully, and with grief for her family.