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Creating the Intersection of Science and Gaming

Lately, Arduino has become one of the fastest growing trends in the Maker community. And Scratch, developed at the Life-long Kindergarten Lab at MIT, has become a staple among teachers for introducing young children to the joy of computing and programming. How can we combine and leverage the simplicity, power, and flexibility of these tools to build meaningful and rich learning opportunities in the classroom?

SparkFun Electronics has some great ideas to share with you! The Scratch platform is the perfect introduction to computational reasoning, programming, and game design. A little known feature within Scratch is an interface to external hardware called a PicoBoard. The PicoBoard is simply an Arduino with a slider, light sensor, sound sensor, a push button, and four generic sensor inputs.

We will show you tricks to integrating investigations in math and science using Scratch and the PicoBoard. Come and play with us, and learn how to add curiosity and excitement to your class!

Learning Objectives

  1. How can I integrate NGSS using computers and Scratch? What ways will this support my teaching for next year? What are some investigations or lesson ideas that we can use immediately?
  2. How can I take a "kid" friendly, graphical programming language like Scratch and incorporate higher order thinking skills, data collection, and scientific processing?
  3. Scratch is used for teaching little kids to program. How can this be exciting and engaging for older students in a high school? How can we add differentiation using Scratch so that it is exciting, challenging, and new to older, more mature students?



Brian Huang, Education Engineer, SparkFun Electronics

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