CAMPBELL, Calif., May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- May 18th marks the 5th annual "Scratch Day," organized by The Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab to spread the word about Scratch, their beginner programming language and online community. This month also saw the release of Scratch 2.0, the updated edition of the web-based learning tool. Just in time for the festivities, iD Tech Camps, the national leader in summer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education is preparing to launch their 15th summer season, and has incorporated Scratch 2.0 into two courses. Powered by internalDrive, iD Tech Camps is a longtime advocate of enabling students of all ages to code.
iD Tech Camps programs are held at over 60 prestigious university campuses nationwide, including MIT, where Scratch was created. The summer tech camp leader provides courses in programming, app development, game design, robotics, 3D animation, film, and more. An increasing demand for programming courses led to the addition of their new Intro to Programming with Scratch & Java course for ages 10-12, which will expand students' understanding of Scratch, and help them transition into more involved Java programming. The existing course, Adventures in Programming with Scratch, focuses on Scratch fundamentals for ages 7-10. No prior programming knowledge is required for either course.
Scratch 2.0 makes it even easier for students to create and share programming projects. Complexities of coding are broken into bite-sized, color-coded bits, allowing kids to freely create interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art. A fun drag-and-drop interface encourages students to rearrange and experiment with code in a way that quickly makes sense to them. The success of Scratch is due to its ability to present vital 21st-century skills like critical thinking, logic, problem-solving, and creative development in a way that is inviting, colorful, and engaging—as opposed to daunting and heavy. Students can share their projects with other Scratch users online, fostering collaboration skills.
"Learning to code is important for anyone who wants to be a full and active participant in society," says Mitchel Resnick, Director of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. "Instead of simply teaching kids to use existing technologies, we must give them the tools to design and create their own."
With its ample opportunities for storytelling and creativity, Scratch is also an effective starting point for girls to discover their affinity for coding. The Scratch courses at iD Tech Camps continue to be among the most popular with girls, engaging more female students in STEM each year.
"Scratch has been a key part of our curriculum over the years because it promotes creative and logical thinking in a fun way that's relatable to kids—both boys and girls," says Pete Ingram-Cauchi, President and CEO of iD Tech Camps. "We're looking forward to sharing the new Scratch 2.0 with our students this summer, and showing them how their interests in programming can turn into future college majors or careers." In addition to Scratch, iD Tech Camps offers a variety of programming courses in Java and C++. Teens can build their programming skills through app development, robotics engineering, and more at the intensive, pre-college iD Programming Academy.
Worldwide, students and technology educators such as iD Tech Camps are using Scratch, as it allows computer novices to understand complex programming concepts. In a world where STEM occupations are expected to grow 17% over the next decade, any tool that sparks young people's interest in programming is crucial. Scratch empowers aspiring programmers to develop and share their creative visions.
ABOUT iD TECH CAMPS AND iD TEEN ACADEMIES
iD Tech Camps and iD Teen Academies engage students ages 7-18 in STEM education with summer programs for kids and teens held at over 60 prestigious universities nationwide, including MIT, Stanford, Princeton, and others. Sessions are weeklong, day and overnight. Teens can build online portfolios and explore future career paths at iD Gaming Academy, iD Programming Academy, and iD Visual Arts Academy. Visit http://www.internalDrive.com or call 1-888-709-TECH (8324).
Press contact: Karen Thurm Safran, 408-666-8353
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SOURCE iD Tech Camps