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Scratch Day is May 12

Cambridge, Massachusetts —(Map)

On Saturday, May 12, groups around the world will celebrate Scratch Day. This will be the tenth year for Scratch Day, which is meant to help young programmers meet other coders to share ideas and learn about Scratch.

Scratch is a free programming tool that was created in 2007 by scientists working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The program was made with kids in mind, but it allows anyone to learn about computer programming. With Scratch, users can create games, music, stories, animations, and more.

Screenshot of Scratch showing a simple "Hello World" program.
Screenshot of Scratch showing a simple “Hello World” program.
(Source: Wikimedia Commons.)

Scratch makes it easy to change and test ideas, and to learn what works and what does not. Instead of asking the user to type computer code, Scratch shows the user blocks that fit together like Legos. To write a program, the user just drags and drops the blocks, which tell the computer what to do.

Scratch Day at MIT (2012)
Scratch Day at MIT (2012)
(Source: ScratchEd Team, via Flickr.)

When the scientists from MIT first put Scratch on the Internet, they weren’t sure if the program would be popular. It didn’t take them long to find out. In less than two weeks, a 9-year-old girl created a game where a bee tries to save a grasshopper from a spider. The game had pictures, sounds and different levels.

Scratch Day at MIT (2012)
Scratch Day at MIT (2012)
(Source: ScratchEd Team, via Flickr.)

Now people can use Scratch in almost every country in the world, and in 70 different languages. At first users had to download the program, but since 2013, they have been able to create programs online. Sharing ideas and learning from other projects is important in Scratch. The website now has over 27 million users. In 2014, MIT added ScratchJr, which is a simpler version for kids ages 5-7.

Screenshot of map showing Scratch Day events.
Screenshot of map showing Scratch Day events.
(Source: Scratch Day website.)

Last year, there were over 650 Scratch Day events in 74 countries. This year, at least 457 events have already been planned. People interested in learning more can visit the Scratch Day website to find an event near them, or to start one of their own.

Cambridge, Massachusetts


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