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May 10, 2012
By Ben Lawson, media assistant
The Northwest Missouri State University Kansas City center in Liberty will host the University’s third annual Scratch Workshop and Summer Camp in June to educate area teachers about learning software developed to help students think creatively with a computer.
Scratch is kid-friendly software that allows students of all ages to create computer games, animations, stories, art and music. The program helps students develop problem-solving skills, creative thinking, systematic reasoning and teamwork in a way that they find entertaining.
The workshop, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, June 15, offers sessions for beginning, intermediate and advanced Scratch users. The summer camp, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, June 29, will give teachers the opportunity to practice using the software with students. There will be a curriculum development session in the morning and time for classroom experience with a group of K-12 students later in the day.
The Scratch Workshop and Summer Camp help teachers learn how to use Scratch in their classrooms and incorporate it with educational standards and requirements set by the state.
Dr. Michael Rogers, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems annually helps organize the workshops, said Scratch is a great way to get students to enjoy learning in the classroom.
“(Students) see it as playing games and making games with the computer and that’s what they are doing, but at the same time it is helping them learn all these skills.” Rogers said. “It is helping them be creative, so it’s really one of those perfect educational tools. The best educational tools do not feel like their educational tools, they feel like their games and that is what Scratch feels like.”
This is the third year Northwest faculty have hosted the event. For the second consecutive year the Scratch workshop are being made possible with the help of a Google CS4S Grant, a grant designed to promote computer science in high schools.
About 80 K-12 teachers from the Kansas City area attended two workshops last year. Teachers, from those who taught high school business to first grade music, said they found the workshops appealing.
“I believe the world of ‘what works’ in education is changing so rapidly with all of the TV and video games students see and use each day,” said one first grade music teacher who participated in the workshop last year. “Student’s attention span with the teacher in the front of the classroom is dwindling and I believe Scratch is a great way to bridge that gap.”
The Scratch Workshop and Summer Camp are organized by faculty members in the Northwest Department of Computer Science and Information Systems: Dr. Carol Spalding, Dr. Judy Clark, Dr. Carolyn Hardy and Rogers.
To register or to learn more about Scratch Workshop and Summer Camp visit bit.ly/scratchworkshop.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468