'Scratch'ing The Programmer Pipeline
As children create with Scratch, they learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically.” MIT Media Laboratory, Lifelong Kindergarten group
One of the greatest pleasures in what I do is working with young people to create games and animations in Scratch. The Nerd Ninjaz, some as young a 5, have created some incredible (yes I am biased). The project based approach allows young people to move at a speed that is comfortable for them, while using project completion as a success measure instead of how quickly they can grasp a single concept. I challenge them frequently to advance their skills and develop their own game and animations based on what they learn. Coaching them through challenges builds resilience and searching for answers when I don’t have them creates collaborative learning.
Often I’m asked, “What do your Nerd Ninjaz learn or get from the Dojo and from Scratch”. These are just a few of the benefits:
Most Ninjaz will not become coders (professional programmers). What Ninjaz gain is increased confidence in their ability to learn, improve their ability to express their ideas creatively, to think more logically. By 2021, I want to see 10,000 young people from Metro Atlanta with these skills that will have a profound impact on their future and the future of Atlanta. Efforts like Power My Learning's App Challenge and others are helping feed the pipeline. Let's get them there together.
Nerd Ninja Sensei
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A blog for those working to refine the college access pipeline, create more opportunities to nurture future change agents, and mitigate the gaps.