On Friday, seventh graders in Kim Miller’s coding class at Goleta Valley Junior High were highly engaged as they focused on creating animated computer images and sounds. Students were experimenting with sprites [animated objects], costumes, backdrops, looks, and sounds to create an interactive Scratch [a programming language] project, described as “a project that helps other people learn more about you and ideas, activities, and people that you care about.” According to Ms. Miller, “Scratch was developed at the MIT Media Lab as a networked, media-rich programming environment, designed specifically to enhance the development of technological fluency among students and provide an opportunity for students to learn how to express themselves with new technologies.”
The class was one large support group as the students eagerly helped each other find coding solutions. Isabella Valentine said, “This is the first time I have coded. I want to learn how to make a block and create an interactive game program.” From the activity on her computer screen, she is well on her way.
This 18-week junior high curriculum prepares students for the high school’s “Introduction to Computer Science” class.