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4. Program Something Unexpected

  • 1. CS First Survey
  • 2. CS First and Scratch Overview
  • 3. Intro to CS First and Computer Science
  • 4. Program Something Unexpected
  • 5. Reflection
  • 6. Wrap-up: Program Something Unexpected
  • 7. Wrap-up: Share Your Project
  • 8. Wrap-up: Show Your Project
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In this screencast, you’ll get familiar with Scratch and create your own program where something surprising happens. You’re looking at the Scratch project editor.

Scratch is just a programming language. Programming languages allow computer scientists to give computers instructions. In this project editor, there is a sprite on a blank stage. “Sprite” is another word for a character or object. In Scratch, you will program spites to do different things.

In the middle of the screen, you’ll see a scripts menu. In this menu, you will find the instruction blocks you’ll use to create programs.

These blocks are sorted by color-coded categories, like “motion” and “looks.”

One of the best ways to learn computer science is to explore and try new things. While you’re working in Scratch, if you see a block that looks interesting, click it to find out what it does! To select a block to use in your program, click and drag it into the scripts area. Many blocks have values that you can change by clicking on the value and typing. To add another instruction to your program, select a block and drag it until it snaps into the first instruction block.

The computer will “read” the instructions you create to make your game do what you want it to do. When a computer scientist tells a computer to read and carry out instructions, it is called “running” the code. These blocks run in the order they are stacked.

To run a stack of blocks, just click on it. Cool! This sprite plays a note and moves to the right a little. As you explore, if you find a block that doesn’t appear to do anything when clicked, click the “block help” icon, then the block.

Doing this gives you a definition. For example, this block repeats something a specified number of times, then shows an example of how it’s used.

This block appears to go around other blocks, so lets check it out!

Cool! Now the sprite plays the sound and moves forward 3 times.

Now that you’ve seen a brief introduction on how to use Scratch, it’s your turn to explore. Your task is to “program something surprising.”

Remember to try out different blocks, and use the “block help” tool if you want more information on a block. Click on the Scratch project tab you opened previously, and try out different blocks-- explore what you’re able to do in Scratch.

If you have a question while working, remember to ask a neighbor or put your sticky on your computer monitor to get the attention of the CS First Guru.

  1. Test out different blocks.
  2. Program something surprising!