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10 Years of Scratch in Schools

By Karen Brennan, Wilhemina Peragine, on August 28, 2017 8:03 AM

The Scratch programming language and online community celebrates its 10th birthday this year. Millions of children from around the world have used Scratch to make interactive media and share it with others. To celebrate this milestone, our team at the Ed School — in collaboration with teachers from around the country — asked hundreds of public K–12 students, “What would you tell your friend about Scratch?” There was a wide range of responses from the students, but we noted common words and phrases. Here are the top 10 words kids used to describe their experiences, with an example response.

1. EXCITEMENT It’s a place of discovery and excitement. And what I love most about it is I can create anything I imagine and share it with a whole community of amazing people. – Ninth-grader

2. IMAGINATION I love Scratch because you create things from your imagination. You take what’s in your imagination and you make it real. – Fourth-grader

3. PLAY I can told them that it’s so fun and it’s so happy, so you can play. – Kindergartner

4. COOL It’s so exciting when you’re making a big game and you fix the final bug. I remember my friend and I were working on a platform game called Robo’s Quest, and it took us six hours to bug-fix it. When we finished it, we cheered. It was really cool to see all our work come together! – Sixth-grader

5. LOVE I love to play basketball, so it’s exciting to make a game in Scratch that relates to what I love to do. – Sixth-grader

6. HAPPY Scratch means many things to me. It means to be happy, to be exciting, and expressing my feelings when I make projects. – Fourth-grader

7. EXPRESS Scratch has made me a creative person ‘cause I get to create whatever I want in Scratch, from a game, to a video, to something like a music video. It helps you express yourself. – Seventh-grader

8. PROUD Scratch means to me that you can feel creative about yourself, proud about yourself, and excited about what you made. – Third-grader

9. CREATIVE I really like it because my teacher gives me the assignment and says, “Be creative!” And I’m just literally like, “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!” I pour myself out into my coding. – Sixth-grader

10. POSSIBILITIES It’s one of the greatest websites I’ve ever been on. There are endless possibilities and endless creative ideas. – Fifth-grader

Karen Brennan, an associate professor at the Ed School, started ScratchEd, an online community for educators to share Scratch stories and resources. Wilhemina Peregrine, Ed.M.'13, is a senior project manager for ScratchEd.