About ScratchJr

What is ScratchJr?
ScratchJr is an introductory programming language that enables young children (ages 5-7) to create their own interactive stories and games. Children snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Children can modify characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, even insert photos of themselves -- then use the programming blocks to make their characters come to life.
ScratchJr was inspired by the popular Scratch programming language (http://scratch.mit.edu), used by millions of young people (ages 8 and up) around the world. In creating ScratchJr, we redesigned the interface and programming language to make them developmentally appropriate for younger children, carefully designing features to match young children's cognitive, personal, social, and emotional development.
ScratchJr is now available as a free iPad app. We expect to release an Android version later in 2014 and a web-based version in 2015.
Why Did We Create ScratchJr?
Coding (or computer programming) is a new type of literacy. Just as writing helps you organize your thinking and express your ideas, the same is true for coding. In the past, coding was seen as too difficult for most people. But we think coding should be for everyone, just like writing.
As young children code with ScratchJr, they learn how to create and express themselves with the computer, not just to interact with it. In the process, children learn to solve problems and design projects, and they develop sequencing skills that are foundational for later academic success. They also use math and language in a meaningful and motivating context, supporting the development of early-childhood numeracy and literacy. With ScratchJr, children aren't just learning to code, they are coding to learn.
Who Created ScratchJr?
ScratchJr is a collaboration between the Developmental Technologies (DevTech) Research Group at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University (led by Marina Umaschi Bers, with contributions from Louise Flannery, Elizabeth Kazakoff, Amanda Strawhacker, and Dylan Portelance), the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab (led by Mitchel Resnick, with contributions from Natalie Rusk, Sayamindu Dasgupta, Champika Fernando, and Chris Graves), and the Playful Invention Company (led by Paula Bontá and Brian Silverman, with contributions from Jack Geddes and Adrian Gabriel).
View a conversation with the creators of ScratchJr, Marina Bers and Mitchel Resnick.
The graphics and illustrations for ScratchJr were created by HvingtQuatre Company (led by Julien Gelifier and Adrien Valesa), Sarah Thomson, Peter Mueller, and Jillian Lombardi. Paula Aguilera of the MIT Media Lab produced the ScratchJr video for the Kickstarter campaign, and Lisa O'Brien of the Code-to-Learn Foundation organized the distribution of the beta version. Mark Roth of Two Sigma Investments made important contributions to the preparation of the final release version of the ScratchJr app.
Who Supported ScratchJr?
The ScratchJr project has received generous financial support from the National Science Foundation (NSF DRL-1118664), Code-to-Learn Foundation, LEGO Foundation, British Telecommunications, and Adobe Systems.
If you enjoy using this free app, please consider making a donation to the Code-to-Learn Foundation (www.codetolearn.org), a nonprofit organization that provides ongoing support for ScratchJr. We appreciate donations of all sizes, large and small.
Platinum supporters from the ScratchJr Kickstarter campaign: Jeremy Deutsch, Kenneth Ehlert, Catherine Greenspon, Mark Loughridge, JoAnn Gantz Bendetson, and Shirley Resnick.
Other supporters from the ScratchJr Kickstarter campaign: Aaron Suggs, Abe Stein, Abinash Bishoyi, Adam Bellow, Adam Skylar Miner, Adriana Moscatelli, Adrienne Tilley, Agnes Wagenhäuser, Aidan Raney, Aiden & Eryn Murphy, Akim Boyko, Akinsola Akinbiyi, Alain-Christian, Albert Oldfield, Alex Abdugafarov, Alexander & Edward Grabon, Alexander Falk, Alice Gamache, Alicia Cañellas Mayor, Alison & Tyler Oakman, Al Sweigart, Althea Champagnie, Amelia G. 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