Scratch is a powerful toolkit that appeals greatly to girls, to boys, and to learners of all ages. It is engaging and accessible to children and is also used in computer science courses at Harvard and Berkeley. Developed by MIT, with funding from the National Science Foundation, it is web-based and free and can be accessed here. Below are links that will give you a great feel for Scratch. We especially recommend the two 3-minute videos. They show the fun and value of learning to code. The first video is about Scratch and was made by the Scratch Team at MIT. The second video is from Code.org and includes appearances by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and other you will recognize, describing their first experience learning to code.
THE SCRATCH WEBSITE
The Scratch Website is the hub of a worldwide community of Scratch creators. Young people from over 150 countries use Scratch to create and share projects and comment on each other’s work. The site is carefully moderated by the Scratch Team at MIT, in order to keep it safe and friendly. The Community Guidelines for the Scratch Website are available here. Visitors can draw inspiration from over 12 million Scratch projects posted to the site, and connect with Scratchers whose work they love to follow. The Explore section of the site allows visitors to explore “featured projects” curated by the Scratch Team. The Scratch Website is a rich source of on-line support and of information for students, parents and educators. Here is a description of Scratch from its designers at MIT:
“As they create and share Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.”
Dipping into the videos and articles above will give you an excellent feel for Scratch.