Scratch, Meow & Maker: Digital Panel of Emotions, Motor and Language Disabilities

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Participate and share : Poster

Emiliano Miranda Ramírez  
Zabdi Mendoza Ramírez  
Alondra Lezama León  
Carlo Guzmán Salcedo  
Paola Hernández Compañ González  
Sofia Avila Cuevas  

Learn how students lend their voice to provide a solution for people with motor and language disabilities to express their emotions. Applying design thinking, they create a digital panel controlled by Scratch and a Meow card, which shows in a large format the emotions and basic needs.

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android
Laptop: Chromebook
Participant accounts, software and other materials:

Digital panel
2 Meow Cards

Topic: Computer science & computational thinking
Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: Computer science, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
Computational Thinker
  • Students formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions.
  • Students collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.
Additional detail: Student presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will learn that people with disabilities have emotions that deserve to be heard, and that communication with their families, staff who assist them and teachers is essential.
They will know how our students become innovative designers when developing a project identifying the global problem of people with motor and language disabilities to express their emotions, since it is difficult for them to use applications on electronic devices. Using computational thinking, they create algorithms and develop a prototype of a portable digital panel controlled with a Scratch program and a Meow card. They collect the data through the contact that the user makes with the panel, choosing the image of the emotion to express, and processing this data in the program, which will play an audio with the emotion in the voices of our students. Some emotions or needs can be:
I want to be alone
I need help
I love you
I need company
I am happy
I am angry
I am sad (and others)
Some affirmations: I am loved, I am fantastic, I am important, I am unique, and others.
A special option to listen a pray

-Understand how to develop a project using design thinking
-Show empathy by recognizing that there are people in the world with needs who can improve their quality of life with technology.
-Recognize themselves as creators and innovators, contributors of solutions to real world problems.
-Through computational thinking, students design algorithms to program a solution to the problem in Scratch.
-Use technological resources such as the Meow card that adapt to Scratch and enhance the solutions.
-Collaborate with peers showing respect for contributions and comments.

** The Meow card allows you to receive keystrokes through a conductive medium. This connects to the Laptop and sends the data to the Scratch program, and receives it in the form of letters. You have 10 keyboard letter options to use.

Supporting research

Bitesize, BBD. Introduction to computational thinking. Source:

Daniela Grigis and Marco Lazzari. 2013. Augmentative and alternative communication on tablet to help persons with severe disabilities. In Proceedings of the Biannual Conference of the Italian Chapter of SIGCHI (CHItaly '13). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 17, 1–4. DOI:

Ideo Design thinking. Source:

Global Nursing, 2018. Emotional intelligence, resilience and self-esteem in people with
physical disability and no disability. Source:

Government of La Rioja. Educational orientation. Source:

Mégret, F. (2008). The disabilities convention: Human rights of persons with disabilities or disability rights?. Human Rights Quarterly, 494-516. Source:

United Nations 2020, Department of Economic and Social AffairsDisability. Source:

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Emiliano Miranda Ramírez, Cumbres Villahermosa
Zabdi Mendoza Ramírez, Cumbres Villahermosa
Alondra Lezama León, Cumbres Villahermosa
Carlo Guzmán Salcedo, Cumbres Villahermosa
Paola Hernández Compañ González, Cumbres Villahermosa
Sofia Avila Cuevas, Instituto Cumbres Villahermosa

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