George Lucas Educational Foundation

Siemens STEM Academy and webinar about "Scratch"...

Siemens STEM Academy and webinar about "Scratch"...

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Hello Colleagues, It's Tuesday evening East Coast Time, and I just left an online webinar hosted by the Siemens STEM Academy about the STEM & Arts Program called "Scratch" The good news is that these are two fantastic STEM Resources... They have the potential to innovate worldwide education methodologies and project-based learning of STEM across the entire curriculum... I highly recommend visiting their websites...Maybe I can summarize their contents and value in a moment... The not-so-good news is that both websites are very much a work-in-progress: --the live webinar was a complete audio-malfunction disaster... dozens of "attendees" including me, left the webinar within a few minutes of its start... --the "Scratch" website is truly magical with kids of all ages "programming" their own animation and video games with their dowloaded software and publishing them at the "Scratch" website... ...however the online instructions (for beginning users) has a lot of missing elements and there is a definite learning curve to overcome... But I will tell you that within 10 minutes of "techno-newbie me" using the Motion Tool and the Music tool, I did in fact create a simple Jazzy Cat (called 'Sprite 1") who could acrobatically walk in a gravity-defying counter-clockwise off-the-ground somersault circle (endlessly :-) totally in-sync with a cool drumbeat... :-) I suggest you visit the kids Gallery of animations and games... it will blow your mind with what kids are creating right now, by connecting "leggo-type" blocks of 'tool effects' in the workspace area of the Scratch screen... I myself will probably check back in 6 months or so, to see how they have progressed with the User Interface... but if you want to teach right away with state-of-the-art graphics and kid-friendly programming blocks... go for it asap... Okay, enough for now... Siemens STEM website has online seminars, it seems like everyday of the week, for teachers across all subject areas and grade level... These are two of the top online STEM resources I have come across... Sincerely, phineas8888 / Allen

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