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Scratch: Introduction to Block-Based Programming

Scratch is a freeware application developed by MIT to teach students as young as five years old how to program using drag and drop blocks of code. For this class, students can plug a PicoBoard into Scratch and learn how to integrate sensors into their projects. They will learn things like how to use a light sensor to control the background of their animation, use a slider to control the speed of their character and how to create their own sensors. Along the way they will also learn fundamental concepts like how the electricity functions in these sensors.

We should have enough equipment available for everyone to use for the class, but if you'd like your own PicoBoard to keep, you can find it available here:

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10311


This will be the first class in a three week series, a progressive journey through computational thinking and basic programming concepts.

Series progression: 

Scratch & Pico -> LilyPad & ArduBlock -> Intro to Arduino

There is absolutely no requirement or necessity to attend all three courses. They are simply being offered in series for children or anyone new to programming that wishes to sort of wade -> swim -> dive over a three week span as opposed to diving straight into text-based programming.

This class will be fun for the WHOLE family! :-)

Instructor: Dav Nowinski

Prerequisites: None.

What to bring: A laptop and some lunch (or visit a nearby restaurant) 
Note: Please install the Arduino software on your computer before the class. Click here for instructions on installing the Arduino software. If you have any issues installing the software, shoot Dav (the class instructor) and e-mail or come to class a little early and he'll get ya squared away.

I imagine four hours will be more than enough time to comfortably get through the material, but if we need more time, I'll be able to stay around a couple more hours (6pm).

Class Cost: Donate whatever you feel the class is worth (if able) and all proceeds will go to TinkerMill operational costs.


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  • John B.

    Great teacher, well prepared, knew his subject matter - learned, relaxed, and had fun with my son!

    October 19, 2013

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