Happy Birthday Scratch!

Happy birthday Scratch, complete with popping balloons!

Today is Scratch’s 5th birthday. Scratch is a programming language for both young and older learners! Have a look at how students are saying ‘Happy Birthday‘ to Scratch at the World Museum’s Let’s Celebrate Scratch’s birthday. (This may take a few minutes to load.)  This is a project put together by Professor Yoshiro Miyata of Japan. Many balloons are floating, and if you click a balloon, it will pop and say a birthday message for Scratch.

Students from across the globe have downloaded the scratch sprite  from the World Scratch Birthday Project and uploaded their sprite back to the public gallery. My grade 4/5 students used this sample project to wish  Scratch a ‘Happy Birthday”. Here is how it was done:-

  1. I downloaded the birthday project sample balloon which came with coding and saved it on our school public student drive.
  2. Students opened the file, saved it back into their folders and simply customized the balloon to their personal design. They replaced the phrases in the coding with their first name, where they are from and why they like using Scratch. It was then uploaded to the public gallery to be grabbed and placed on the World Museum site.

Why I loved this great project:-

  1. We did not have to be experts to create a birthday message. The coding was done for us but students could tweak it if they wished.
  2. Students could customize the balloon and use their own creativity.
  3. The balloon pops when clicked and opens up with their message
  4. It is going online so there is an authentic global audience
  5. A parent popped into the room while we were creating our balloons and was suitably impressed with the popping of balloons, the engagement and the sharing that was going on.

To quote Yoshiro Miyata

 I would like to put their works in the project.  I think the students will enjoy watching their creations in the big display with their messages.  That’s when their vision expands from their works to other people around the world working together with them.

From a newbie point of view, this was a great project to work with. We did not need to know much about scratch and its more complex coding options.  The students could get an effective, creative, customizable product quite quickly. They finished it within a 50 minute lesson.

Although I have tried Scratch several times over the last four years,  I kept hitting a wall and then gave up. This has inspired me again and the students are up and running! (or should that be scratching!) Thanks to Lorraine Leo for connecting us to this great project. Have you tried Scratch? What could you share? Are you part of the World Museum projects?

Popping the balloons

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