Cover by Shawn Wallace, Matt Richardson

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Chapter 5. Scratch on the Pi

Scratch was developed by the MIT Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten group as a new way of teaching programming to young people. Programs are constructed from colorful blocks, each of which performs an operation. The self-contained blocks eliminate the syntax problems that stymie many first timers using text-based programming languages.

To say that Scratch is not a powerful programming language misses the point, which is that it is a friendly environment for creating and making things happen quickly. A young programmer can see the blocks of code highlight as they’re executed, and blocks can be changed and the effects seen in real time.

As you’ll see, all Scratch programs are aimed at manipulating sprites on a stage. There’s ...

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