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learn to program with scratch

Introduction


Scratch is a block based programming environment which allows you to write visual program easily without having to remember and type lots of complicated instructions. However, even though it's simple, it still has all the features of the more traditional programming languages.

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The Scratch Interface (Click to engage)

Scratch is based on the use of the stage, or background, and sprites, actors which perform on the stage. There are plenty of commands, or blocks, which Scratch has built in to allow you to control both the appearance and behaviour of the stage and the sprites that you create.

Scratch can be used to...

Design animations
Tell stories
Make games
Demonstrate concepts
Create quizzes
Make music

Scratch blocks fall into ten categories...

Motion - control how the sprite moves and sense it's x and y coordinates on the stage;
Looks - control how the sprite looks like, what it says and sense it's appearance;
Sound - control the sounds the sprite makes and sense it's volume and it's tempo;
Pen - control whether the sprite leaves a trail behind and what the trail looks like;
Data - allows the programmer to make variables and lists to store data;
Events - respond to events from itself, the backdrop and other sprites;
Control - control the flow of the program, decisions, loops and stopping the scripts;
Sensing - sense the sprites surroundings and lots of its properties;
Operators - maths, string handling, decisions, random numbers and combinations thereof;
More blocks - when the built in blocks aren't enough, you can add your own including extensions.

Using the help function


The most useful part about the Scratch interface is the 'block help' button ...

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Help!

... which can be dragged to any block to tell you what it does and give you a quick example of the block in use. There is really no need for me to write any instructions for how to use any of the blocks - it's all there in the interface!

Follow the built in tutorials


To get started, you can follow the built in tutorials, use the how to guides and access the block help from the collapsible help panel on the right hand side of the interface.

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Last modified: October 5th, 2021
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