Scratch Animation & ProgrammingSprites, variables, logic, loops, keyboard input, pen, paint editor, collision detection, cloning, broadcast
Scratch Animation & Programming, Level 2Lists, custom blocks, "local" variables, deeper logic and loops
Scratch Games (Intermediate)Horizontal scrolling, 4-way scrolling, 3D effects, gravity simulation, AI, gaming concepts
Scratch Programming and Math Puzzles (Intermediate)Angles, graphs, 2D representation, 3D simulation
Scratch - Multiplayer Projects (Intermediate/Advanced)Cloud variables, encode/decode, multiplayer concepts
Scratch is a visual coding platform that allows you to create projects such as stories, games and animations. It uses coding blocks that are connected together to form a program. Created by MIT Media Lab, it is the gold standard on learning how to code for kids.
What can you learn in Scratch?
At the coding level, Scratch covers all the fundamental concepts of a typical programming language, namely variables, lists, conditional statements, loops and functions (custom blocks). It also introduces some basic object-oriented principles. More importantly, at the general level, it teaches critical thinking, problem-solving skills and logical thinking.
Does my child need to know how to type?
While there are blocks that require typing, it is minimal so touch typing is not required. However, it is an opportunity for your child to get familiar with the keyboard and to learn touch typing.
What is the prerequisite for the first course?
Your child should be able to move a mouse with some degree of accuracy and be open to typing on a keyboard.
Should Scratch be the first coding course for my child?
Although Scratch manages to avoid the syntax of a language and most typing by using blocks, there is still a learning curve on understanding the paradigm of a project that consists of blocks, sprites, stage, graphics, sound and more. The overall complexity of the development environment and the sheer number of blocks could be somewhat daunting. If your child is under 8 years old, you may want to consider ScratchJr, which runs on an iPad, Android device or Chromebook and was also created by MIT Media Lab.
There are more than 90 million Scratch accounts and almost 700 million projects!
Who are the instructors for Scratch?
All of our instructors go through our Scratch curriculum and are typically college students majoring in computer science or adults working in the software industry with experience teaching or tutoring youths.
The class is instructor-led so we will guide you step-by-step. WhizKidz uses a learn-by-example approach. We show you simple examples and best practices. We encourage and foster hands-on experimentation. The class is project-based, meaning students will design and implement many creative and unique projects in all of our courses.
No, but Scratch is fun to use so we encourage you to experiment and learn on your own time in between classes. Sometimes we might suggest challenges or improvements to an existing project that you can try after class.
Should I take all five courses in a row?
You can take all five courses, one after the other. Another option is to take the first two courses and wait until later to take the intermediate/advanced courses since it is more beneficial with a stronger math background (e.g. knowledge of angles, coordinate system).
Is distance learning effective? Does it work?
It definitely works as we have seen successful results since March of 2020. With Scratch, it is easy to share your screen or share your project so the instructor can view what has been done.
What do I need at home to take this class?
You need an Internet connection and a computer.
What if I sign up for the class and I want to quit?
You can get full credit on the remaining classes that you haven't taken.
What comes after the Scratch Programming Series?
If you want to continue using and learning Scratch, we have Machine Learning Applications that teaches supervised machine learning using a variation of Scratch. There is also courses on mBot, a personal robot that is based on yet another variation of Scratch.
If you are looking for something different that still uses visual programming (blocks), try Minecraft Modding where you learn coding with Minecraft! You can also create and even publish Android apps in our MIT App Inventor series!
If you are ready for a textual programming language, Scratch maps well to Python. If you prefer an easier transition to a textual environment, do Web Development.