Storytelling using Scratch
The Reedy Creek Magnet Middle School Fall 2019 Girls Who Code Club spent 8 weeks learning how to design, code, and export short stories using scratch. Their stories highlight facts and accomplishments of selected famous women in STEM. Famous women who were highlighted: Grace Hopper, Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie, Chien-Shiung Wu, and Rosalind Franklin.
Watch a combined video with the short stories here:
Club Facilitators: Olivia Davis and Jordan D'Addeo
Club Advisor: Diane McGrath
The club kicked off with:
- Learning about the facilitators - their jobs, background in STEM, and fun facts.
- Intro into the project topic and software
- Examples of what to expect in the sessions to come
Then jumping right in with an exercise to get everyone up and moving. The first club exercise was a "Hopes and Fears" exercise to have an open conversation of what the girls hoped to get out of the club and what they may be nervous about.
Learning Scratch Coding Basics
- The girls setup Scratch accounts (parental approval required)
- Learning about Scratch sprites, backdrops, and the code bricks: Motion, Looks, Events, Variables
Created a Practice Project Using the Basics
>> 'Move _ steps'
>> 'Say _ for 1 second'
(This helped apply the scratch basics they had just learned. By select a sprint, and using 2 different code blocks.)
Selecting Famous Women in STEM
The girls were grouped into teams of 2 and randomly given 1 famous women in STEM to research and build their short stories around.
Learning Research Basics
- Completed a Design Thinking activity to brainstorm fact topics to research that student their age are interested in
- Based on the outcome of the brainstorming exercise, the girls researched and prioritized facts and accomplishments
The teams mapped out their facts in a storyboard format - 2 rows of 3 post-its - only 1 fact/accomplishment and supporting picture per post-it
if the restaurant serves pizza then get pizza
if the restaurant serves pizza then get pizzaelse get a sandwich
if the restaurant serves pizza then get pizza else if they serve breakfast then get pancakes else get a sandwich
while ingredients are not combined, mix them together
for 10 minutes, bake at 375
forever, eat the cookies
Crunch time! Working sessions...
- Selected sprites to represent their characters
- Selected backgrounds to display behind each story scene
- Refined story to a minimum of 5 facts
- Organized facts so they were told in a sequence of events
- Tested the story animations to see how long it takes someone to read each fact
- Added custom sprites and backgrounds
- Peer reviewed each other's animations
- Learned how to communicate their projects to others
- Learned how to give constructive feedback to each other
On the final club day, the girls presented what they learned throughout the 8 weeks in front of their families and teachers.