CS in Education – Scratch Clubs

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An example of a powerpoint slide

Over the course of the last few years I have been teaching Scratch Clubs after school for students in the Middle School grades 6-8. At these clubs, students follow my powerpoint lesson and learn the basics of programming in MIT’s Scratch, a visual coding language designed to teach kids the basic practices of programming. My lessons bring students through from start to finish on a simple game, and in the past I have covered a racing game, asteroids clone, and space invaders clone.

The actual powerpoint contains an explanation of what needs to be done on each slide as well as screenshots that show any code or other functions that need to be performed. The slides are accompanied by a verbal explanation of what is being done as well as troubleshooting that is done by myself and two friends who come to help make sure the class goes smoothly.

The classes usually run for a little over an hour once a week after school for a series of 8 weeks. Attendance for the class has grown over the last few years and rose to nearly 20 students for the fall class this year.

I think this class is a great opportunity for Middle School students. Many students do not get any exposure to programming until at least High School, and this class often sparks the interest of students who may not have known that programming is something that they may be interested in pursuing.

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