Scratch National Competition 2018

TeachNet blog followers will be well familiar with our advocacy of coding in schools, and synonymous with same is Scratch. Previously, we’ve looked at Scratch (And its ubiquitous feline protagonist) in many guises but this time around I’d like to highlight the Scratch National Competition which is now open for entries. The competition, now in its 8th year, is supported by the ICS Foundation, Lero, IT Sligo and ITT Dublin and welcomes entries from both primary and second-level students. There are five competition categories in all; Junior Infants to 1st Class, 2nd Class to 4th Class, 5th Class to 6th Class, 1st Year to 3rd Year and 4th Year to 6th Year, including sections for both in-school and after-school entries. Closing date for entries is Friday 16th February 2018, with entries then reviewed by a panel of judges, and the finalists invited to the National Finals in April as part of Tech Week.

There’s plenty of time to get started, even if completely new to the world of Scratch as students of all ages find it intuitive and easy-to-learn. In short, Scratch from MIT Media Lab, is a free visual drag and drop programming tool specifically designed for education. With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations and then share your creations with others online.   Scratch can help learners to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively, teaching computational thinking and problem-solving using a powerful yet intuitive building block interface to app creation. For more on Scratch see below…

If however you think your students aren’t just quite ready for the heat of national competitive action, registering at scratch.ics.ie/register is still highly recommended as you can request a soft copy of The Scratch Classroom Pack, which is a compressive 10 lesson starter pack, complete with step-by step lesson plans and activities, designed by Lero to introduce primary students to Scratch. A link to same will be emailed on successful registration. In addition, further lesson plans, workbooks and other resources for Scratch in the classroom (For both primary and secondary age groups) can be found on scratch.ie.

Happy Scratching!

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