The PBS KIDS ScratchJr App
PBS KIDS launched PBS KIDS ScratchJr, a free app developed in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab and Tufts University’s Developmental Technologies Research Group. Available now on iPad and Android tablets, PBS KIDS ScratchJr helps children ages 5-8 learn core coding concepts as they create their own interactive stories and games using PBS KIDS characters.
PBS KIDS ScratchJr incorporates PBS KIDS media properties, including WILD KRATTS, WORDGIRL, PEG + CAT and the new series NATURE CAT. As kids snap together colorful programming blocks to make their favorite characters move, jump, dance and sing, they will learn to solve problems, design projects and express themselves creatively.
"PBS KIDS ScratchJr uses the power of technology to help children learn," said Sara DeWitt, Vice President, PBS KIDS Digital. "The PBS KIDS ScratchJr App puts kids in the driver’s seat, where they express themselves through storytelling. While kids are playing with their favorite characters, they are also exploring the basics of coding, an important 21st-century literacy."
In tandem with the launch of the app, WFSU was awarded a very special grant from PBS KIDS and Verizon to pilot both a PBS KIDS ScratchJr Summer Camp Program and a Professional Development Workshop for teachers. In addition to the information on this webpage, activities are available through PBS LearningMedia in conjunction with Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code.
2016 WFSU PBS KIDS ScratchJr Camp at Riley Elementary
(21st CCLC Summer Program)
For two weeks in July, the media center at Riley Elementary was transformed into a high tech laboratory! Over 30 children ranging in age from 5 to 12 had the amazing opportunity to harness their creativity and logic thinking skills to create digital, animated stories.
Using the PBS KIDS ScratchJr app, children manipulate the colorful programming blocks which allow them to create sequences of actions that cause characters to animate and interact in fun and exciting ways. Kids create and program with beloved PBS KIDS characters, are able to create their own unique characters and backgrounds, and even use the recording tool to add sounds and give voice to projects. The camp was led by Leon County schools Felisha Williams, the new Title 1 District Math Coordinator, and assisted by Kelley Duda, Advanced Placement Faculty at Rickards High School.
WFSU PBS KIDS ScratchJr Professional Development Training
WFSU partnered with the FSU Mag Lab to bring the PBS KIDS ScratchJr app to classroom teachers on August 11, 2016. PBS KIDS ScratchJr guru Aaron Morris led the presentation.
Dozens of teachers were given info on the excitement and potential of using the PBS KIDS ScratchJr app in their classrooms or for extracurricular learning during this three hour professional development training. This training is available for your school as well!
For more information, please email the WFSU education staff to schedule today! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming Soon! WFSU PBS KIDS Family Creative Learning
WFSU will soon (2016-17 school year) be selecting schools and locations to host the new PBS KIDS Family Creative Learning! This special program is a series of workshops that engage families in a project-based creative process utilizing PBS KIDS ScratchJr, a free creative coding app. Designed for families with children ages 5-8 (and younger/older siblings), the series uses creative play to introduce both kids and parents to exciting digital and tangible tools that they can use to develop computation and engineering knowledge, practices, and habits of mind as they imagine, plan, design, and create their own child-led projects. The series aims to support and foster collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills among family members while empowering them to create and express themselves with media and technology.
The model is inspired by and built upon a model developed by Ricarose Roque at the MIT Media Lab.
PBS KIDS ScratchJr is now available for free from the App Store on iPad and from the Google Play store on Android tablet. More information on PBS KIDS apps is available at pbskids.org/apps.
WFSU Education Contact
Manager of Educational Outreach