Finding different ways to bring Scratch into the classroom has been a focus for me this term! Not that we haven't found it interesting, or fun, but I have been looking for ways to build it into the curriculum and to make it something that can be (at least a bit) cross curricula..

 

So, for STEM week this year (the annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths focus – info here) I set our Year 6s and Digital Leaders a challenge – design a science quiz and build it in Scratch.

Use of Scratch for this required two new (for this group) skills:

  1. The 'variable' concept
  2. Debugging and quality assuring

The 'variable' concept becomes incredibly straightforward the minute you use it – on the online version it is 'data'. Put simply, create and name the variable (e.g score) and then, when certain answers are inputted, add to the variable.

Begin by using the 'condition' like in this example – 'if, else'

Then extend it by adding the instruction to change the variable:

(Thanks to code-it.co.uk for the images I forgot to take!!)
All of this is lovely and simple so far, but it does lead to some deeper thinking by the children. A science quiz may not always allow for an easy and recogniseable answer – the children were forced to think about how the answer would be inputted e.g. Using letter input for a multiple choice quiz, 'true and false' or even precise one word answers..

This led us nicely to the 'debugging' side of things… Using the online account the children were able to look at each other's quizzes and find any problems. This led us to have a go at changing the input for the questions and the way it scored. They very much enjoyed 'tweaking' an example that I put up there… (above)

 

All in all this took around three hours, and as I said the children were able to use Scratch slightly at the beginning. It is very simple, definitely, but the children were quickly able to find better ways of running quizzes. Using sprites, for example, as multiple choice buttons.

 

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