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Sneak Peek: Connecting Scratch to the Physical World with ScratchGo

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : Workshop

Saturday, June 22, 12:30–3:30 pm
Location: 126AB

Kreg Hanning   Carmelo Presicce   Dr. Natalie Rusk   Jaleesa Trapp  
The ScratchGo is a new physical interface for Scratch that's designed to be rugged, low-cost and highly composable. The ScratchGo allows children to take everyday materials – such as cardboard or clothes – and transform them into controllers for their interactive games and animations. Come try it out!

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. A new generation of Scratch, launched in early 2019, makes it easier to connect Scratch to physical devices, enabling students to combine physical making and digital coding.

The ScratchGo is a physical interface designed specifically for use with Scratch. Designed to be rugged, low-cost, and easily attachable, the ScratchGo allows children to take the materials around them – such as cardboard, clothes, and skateboards – and transform them into controllers for their digital creations on Scratch.

In this workshop, organized by members of the MIT Scratch Team, participants will get a chance to use a prototype version of ScratchGo to create new types of interactive projects. For example, participants could clip the ScratchGo to their pocket, then control a Scratch animation by jumping and moving around. Or they could program everyday objects to trigger music and sounds when the object is tossed or shaken.


Part 1 (10 minutes): Introduction to the ScratchGo hardware

Part 2 (15 minutes): Initial exploration of Scratch and ScratchGo, to learn basic capabilities

Part 3 (20 minutes): Mini-project using ScratchGo to control Scratch animations.

Part 4 (90 minutes): Extended project integrating Scratch and ScratchGo

Part 5 (20 minutes): Show and Tell of participants' projects

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

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