Monthly Archives: September 2010

Scratch and Alice: Programming for Everyone

by Krys Danielewicz, EWM Apprentice

This past summer, we offered a computer class that differed from the traditional video editing or stop-motion animation classes we frequently offer.

We started with Scratch, a program made to introduce kids to the world of computer programming. Developed by MIT, Scratch uses bright graphics and easy-to-understand commands which allow even the most inexperienced student to dive into programming with ease. The kids had a great time developing games and creating animations; however, Scratch soon proved too simple for the ambitious group.

This is where Alice came in. Alice is also an introductory program developed by Carnegie Mellon University which teaches JavaScript (a computer language) through the use of modifiable 3-D worlds. Alice allowed for much more complex modifications, including moving the individual limbs of a person in an animation or letting the user fly a spaceship and fire lasers through a virtual world.

Overall, the class was extremely successful.  Although the world of computer programming can be a complex and difficult one, it is safe to say that Scratch and Alice are great tools to dive in with.

Visit scratch.mit.edu or alice.org to download either of these (free!) programs.

Photo Credits:

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Fall Vacation Program Designs, and Credit Due…

Two new designs for some of the Fall Vacation Programs in September and October:
The Sun-Moon Calendar has work by Catherine Pasqualoni,
Emily Ostrowski, and  Anna Goodrich.
The Columbus Day Owl was detailed by Sarah Radziunas.

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Fairies Along the River

Just below the Town Bridge, on the east bank of the Mill River, we’ve noticed the beginnings of a fairy colony.

Experts see evidence of a migration From England where this architecture is more common.

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