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Expand Your Creativity With Scratch and Micro:bit

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : Workshop

Saturday, June 22, 8:30–11:30 am
Location: 126AB

Kreg Hanning   Carmelo Presicce   Dr. Natalie Rusk   Jaleesa Trapp   Kathy Wu  
Double the creative possibilities by connecting physical and digital worlds. Learn how to use Scratch programming blocks for interacting with the popular, low-cost micro:bit device. Use the micro:bit tilt sensor to control characters in your Scratch game, and program animations on the micro:bit LED display.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Mac OS 10.13+
Windows 10 (version 1709+)

Install Scratch Link from:

Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Computer science and computational thinking
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
Creative Communicator
  • Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
  • Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The Scratch programming language has been used by millions of young people around the world to create interactive stories, games, and animations. The new version of Scratch, launched in early 2019, makes it easier to connect Scratch to physical devices, enabling students to combine physical making and digital coding.

In this workshop, organized by members of the MIT Scratch Team, participants will learn how to use a new Scratch "extension" for interacting with the popular, low-cost micro:bit device. For example, participants could build the micro:bit into a puppet, then control Scratch animations by shaking and tilting the puppet (using new Scratch programming blocks that respond to the micro:bit tilt sensor). Participants will also discuss strategies for integrating Scratch and micro:bit into project-based activities in their classrooms.


Part 1 (15 minutes): Initial exploration of Scratch and micro:bit, to learn basic capabilities

Part 2 (15 minutes): Mini-project using micro:bit sensors to control Scratch animations.

Part 3: (90 minutes): Extended project integrating Scratch and micro:bit

Part 4 (20 minutes): Show and Tell of participants' projects

Part 5 (20 minutes): Demonstrations of other Scratch extensions, connecting to other physical devices (such as LEGO robotics)

Part 6 (20 minutes): Discussion of how to integrate Scratch physical extensions into project-based classroom activities

Supporting research

Many of the ideas underlying this work are discussed in Mitchel Resnick's new book Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play (published by MIT Press in 2017). There are also many research papers examining how and what children learn as they create with Scratch. For some examples, see

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Kreg Hanning, MIT Media Lab
Carmelo Presicce, MIT Media Lab
Dr. Natalie Rusk, MIT Media Lab
Jaleesa Trapp, MIT Media Lab
Kathy Wu, Scratch

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