Scratch At 15 - Worth Knowing About
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 18 May 2022

This week is Scratch Week, a global, virtual celebration of the block programming language for kids from MIT that this year celebrates its 15th anniversary.

Developed by the MIT Media Lab's Lifelong Kindergaten Group, with Mitchel Resnick at the helm, Scratch was intended to teach kids to code and made its public debut on May 15, 2007. Scratch has seen a huge increase in popularity since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the Scratch Foundation:

Scratch is the world’s largest free creative coding platform for kids (8-16). Since 2020, Scratch grew to unprecedented levels as kids, parents, and educators seek ways to connect and engage. Nearly 220 million unique visitors came to the Scratch website, and more than 42 million children created projects. Scratch is translated into over 73 languages and used in almost every country around the world.

Scratch has an appeal that goes beyond 8 to 16 year olds and in 2020 we reported Scratch Back In Top 20 Of TIOBE Index quoting Paul Jansen saying:

At first sight this might seem a bit strange for a programming language that is designed to teach children how to program. But if you take into account that there are in total more than 50 million projects "written" in Scratch and each month 1 million new Scratch projects are added, it can't be denied any more that Scratch is popular.

We first reported on Scratch Day in 2010, the first year in which I Programmer reported news, and now the annual event has turned into Scratch Week, which this year runs from May 15 to 21 as a global, virtual celebration of Scratch with a new theme every weekday to which people of all ages are invited to create and share projects using Scratch and ScratchJr.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has adopted Scratch as one of two languages (the other is Python) for its educational programs for both schools and its Code Club World, a free online platform where young people aged 9 to 13 can "learn to make stuff with code". It is inviting its community to celebrate Scratch Week with its free resources, which include this video introducing Scratch to parents:  



To mark its 15th Anniversary, Scratch has a free virtual event  open to educators, families, and supporters across its entire global community. You can expect: 

  • Live Scratch and ScratchJr Create-Alongs
  • Live Q&As with Scratch Team Members
  • Scratch Founder Mitch Resnick reflecting on the history of Scratch
  • Scratch Executive Director Shawna Young providing a glimpse at the future of Scratch
  • Happy Birthday messages from special guests
  • Afterparty featuring a live DJ set
  • Downloadable Scratch gift for all guests

There are two airings of this event, May 19 from 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM EDT and May 20 from 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM EDT.

If haven't come across Scratch before then try our Programmer's Guide to Scratch 3.0 which explains why, even if you are not going to use it yourself, Scratch is worth knowing about.


More Information

Scratch Week

Scratch 15th Anniversary

Celebrate Scratch Week with Raspberry Pi Foundation

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Scratch Back In Top 20 Of TIOBE Index

Scratch 3.0 Released To Mixed Reaction

ScratchJr - Teaching Kids To Code With iPad

Programming Book Choices For Fun



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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 May 2022 )