Programming for Children
I help out with the after school clubs at my daughter's elementary school.
Instead of my previous chess club, I've been teaching a Scratch Club.
If you haven't played with Scratch, you should. Quite the joy to play. I
described the club in the school newsletter in the following way:
Storytelling on the Computer
Have you wanted to illustrate your stories in a new way? How about using the
computer to tell that story? We will help you show that story of
The Pink Unicorn and the Fairy in a whole new light. This class consists of using
the Scratch system to illustrate and animate stories.
I wrote this to encourage girls to attend.
There is a large disparity between men and women in engineering and
science-related fields. Sure, women may not be interested, but in other
countries, the difference isn't so pronounced. Studies are suggesting that it
may be a situation that can be addressed in younger grades… hence my ploy
to teach programming to girls. (BTW: I just love Engineer Girl and
Engineer Your Life sites).
In my first club, I ended up with 4 boys and 9 girls, and on the first day, it
was the girls that understood Scratch and were really excited. I kept hearing
whispers of "This is so cool" and afterwards, the girls were talking about
downloading and installing Scratch on their computers when they got home.
After my initial club, the word got out, and the boys aren't dissuaded by
unicorns anymore. A tip of the hat to Mitch Resnick and the team at the
Lifelong Kindergarten at MIT Media Lab for doing a great job at building
New Ways for Teaching Children Software Programming
My proposal to this summer's OSCON conference. Wanna attend?
The presentations and support materials for my 6 week course on Software Programming for Children