Open to: Grades 6 and up
Eligibility: CTY-level or Advanced CTY-level math score required
Course Format: Individually Paced
Course Length: Typically 3 months
Course Code: MSP
In this course, young students enter the world of computer science by learning how to create animations, computer games, and interactive projects. Using Scratch, a graphical programming language developed at MIT, students learn fundamental programming concepts such as variables, loops, conditional statements, and event handling. As they teach a mischievous cat to dance, explore a maze, or play games, students learn how to use math and computer code to think creatively. The course will show students how to make and import objects, create audio recordings, and use them to develop interactive projects. At the end of the course, students create their own computer game and share it with their CTY Online Programs instructor and classmates. Students who successfully complete the course will be prepared to study more advanced concepts in the next level course, Advanced Scratch Programming.
No previous programming skills are required, but students should be comfortable using a computer and browser, and managing files. Students are expected to be familiar with standard computer operations (e.g., login, cut & paste, email attachments, etc.). Students do not need to purchase any software or textbook.
Students are strongly encouraged to take a computer literacy placement test before enrolling in this course. Students who have successfully completed either Scratch Programming for Elementary School Students or Scratch Programming for Middle School Students should enroll in Advanced Scratch Programming next to further develop programming skills.
This course does not have any synchronous class meetings, but students may schedule one-on-one virtual meetings directly with the instructor to answer questions or concerns.
Students may be invited to interact in CTY community spaces that include students and instructors and potentially specially invited guests that are not enrolled in their course. Student contributions (e.g., projects, forum posts, etc.) may remain in the course after the student completes the course. These artifacts may be preserved to showcase student work or to continue important conversations.
There are no required materials for this course.
This course requires a properly maintained computer with high-speed internet access and an up-to-date web browser (such as Chrome or Firefox). The student must be able to communicate with the instructor via email. Visit the Technical Requirements and Support page for more details.
Zoom online virtual classroom
This course uses an online virtual classroom which can be used for instructor-student communication if the student has any questions about the course or curriculum. The classroom works on standard computers with the Zoom desktop client and also tablets or handhelds that support the Zoom Mobile app. Students will need a computer with the Zoom desktop client installed to watch any recorded meetings. The Zoom desktop client and Zoom Mobile App are both available for free download.
Most course lectures may be viewed on mobile devices, but in some cases assignments and quizzes must be completed on a desktop or laptop computer.
Chromebooks are not recommended due to required downloading of specialized software.
"My son’s instructor has a great ability to interact with kids. He was able to teach a technical subject to my son amazingly well. He kindled interest in the subject. He is very dedicated and provided good feedback."
"My instructor was very helpful throughout my course with all the different concepts. He was very knowledgeable, and funny! I enjoyed working with his help."
"The instructor helped my son learn how to independently complete the course successfully. She gave helpful and timely feedback and guidance to me and my son. By the end of the course, my son was corresponding with the instructor and managing the course all on his own-- what a great skill to learn above and beyond material she helped him through, which he loved. He can't wait to take the next course."