What is Scratch and how does it work?
4 April 2022
The Lifelong Kindergarten group created scratch at MIT. It is a free-to-use visual programming language tool that allows students to learn how to code in a visually engaging way. It’s a fun-focused coding programming tool. Scratch is designed especially for ages 8 to 16 but is used by people of all ages. Millions of people create Scratch projects in various settings, including homes, schools, museums, libraries, and community centres. Once the scratch is downloaded, you do not need Internet access to create a project. Students can create their own stories, games and animations. Working on these scratch books and projects, they learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. This makes it ideal for teaching because teachers can set tasks for students to complete and share remotely.
Elements of Scratch
There are the following main elements of scratch
- The stage is a background, similar to the stage in a play. The stage area shows the results, such as an animated video, story.
- Sprites are programmed to create a project from scratch; these are the main characters of the project.
- The script tells the actors what to say or do. Each sprite is programmed with a script.
- Programming palettes are the elements used to program the sprite to do or say something. The block palette is where all the commands can be found to drag and drop into the project through the coding area.
- Sprites must be programmed to carry out every function you want them to perform.
- A sprite character can be selected, and commands can be dragged from the block palette into the coding area that allows the sprite’s actions to be carried out. For example, a cat cartoon could be made to walk forward ten steps.
It’s a very basic version of coding, the process of action event-based coding rather than the deep language itself. Scratch works with many other real-world projects such as LEGO Mindstorms EV3 and BBC Micro: bit, allowing for greater outcome potential from the coding platform.