EPAM e-Kids Share Thoughts on Tech and the Scratch Coding Program, Pt. 3

August 16, 2017

But wait, there’s more … Let’s see what else these EPAM e-Kids had to say about their experience.

What do you have the most fun doing with Scratch? Can you share any of your projects with me?

Zoe: I’m working on one now based on the book Because of Winn-Dixie.

Norbert: Games, it is not too easy to animate in code.

Kristóf: Stories.

Olivér: Games, it is possible to create almost any type of game.

Check out Olivér’s latest project: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/154201517/

Olga: My favorite projects are the education-oriented ones and the animations. I did entertaining game projects to get to know new programming languages and tools.
Check out Olga’s latest project: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/134576455/

Ivan: We had a contest at school where we did a project for counting. You push a button, and a person appears with a minus sign in one hand and a plus sign in the other. If you click the plus sign, there’s an example of addition; if you click on the minus sign, there’s an example of subtraction. Before you click, the person says “Choose addition or subtraction!” and turns his head and his mouth moves. On that project, we learned about new blocks you can create yourself. There are different blocks for movement and appearance, and you can create your own block with any parameters, like an oval or a square. My mom and I wanted to make a cartoon, but we also wanted to make something useful. First, we just made fruits fall – apples and bananas. Then we added a garbage truck that garbage falls into, and then we made the garbage fall into different boxes. That worked, and later we numbered our sprites’ costumes and made the different numbers swim in different boxes. Then we added a girl who comes out and tells you what you need to do with garbage.

Do you think most kids would like to learn this?

Zoe: Most people seem interested in my computer class at school.

Norbert: I think that they want to create a game instead of learning Scratch itself. That's why it's worth showing them that Scratch is a good platform for that.

Kristóf:  It depends on how much they like working with it, and how deeply they know it.

Olivér: Everyone who wants to learn it has a little desire for creativity. It is good for picking up the basics of logic. They should start teaching [Scratch] in primary schools.

Olga: I am sure that those who get to know and use Scratch will want to improve their knowledge about it.

Ivan: Only those who really want to. If you really want to learn Scratch, you can.

Mark, did you have anything else you wanted to add?

Mark, Zoe and Maya’s father: Programming is a useful skill. It teaches kids the flow of controls, logic and how to follow a string of commands outside of programming. There aren’t too many opportunities for kids to learn these skills, and it can be applicable in many different ways.

What’s it like to teach kids about Scratch and coding?

Ruth Caisse, Project Manager and e-Kids volunteer at EPAM: Some of the new kids are more hesitant, but the more senior students who come to classes frequently are always interested in helping new students. When you compare Zoe’s projects from when she first started coming to now, you can tell she’s absorbing a lot. As a volunteer, my biggest concern was about how I was going to get the kids to be creative, but that was never an issue. I see myself as a facilitator more than anything because the kids are ready to start learning when they walk in the door and they are super creative.

 

Stay tuned for what comes next in EPAM e-Kids Share Thoughts on Tech and the Scratch Coding Program Pt. 4!