By Sean McManus
Publication date: October 3rd 2013
About the book
Scratch Programming in easy steps introduces readers to Scratch, a programming language that is widely used on the Raspberry Pi and in UK schools and begins with a foreword by Mitchel Resnick, Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab, which created Scratch.
Scratch makes it easy to create your own games, animations, music, art or applications. It’s the perfect way to learn programming because it takes away a lot of the complexity. That means you can focus on having great ideas and bringing them to life. With this book as your companion, you’ll learn how to:
- Design, build and share your own programs
- Create addictive arcade games, quizzes and word games
- Make computer-generated art
- Play your favourite music and compose your own tunes
- Use variables, lists, loops, broadcasts and operators to create sophisticated software
- Avoid common programming pitfalls and bugs
- Interact with webcam video and the sensors on a PicoBoard
This book is an in-depth guide to both the new web-based Scratch 2.0, and Scratch 1.4, as used on the Raspberry Pi. With no prior knowledge needed, this book takes you from scratch to Scratcher!
Also available: Cool Scratch Projects in easy steps - once you've mastered the basics of Scratch, this book is full of great ideas to create computer games and other projects that’ll impress your friends and family!
About the author
Sean McManus writes inspiring books about business and technology. His books include Web Design in easy steps and he has written for magazines including The MagPi, Raspberry Pi Geek, and Internet Magazine. Sean is also a Code Club volunteer.
"My daughter (9) has started coding at school and this book is great for giving her extra support at home. She looks forward to working through the exercises each weekend which are helping to build her Scratch skills." Reader review from Amazon
"I bought my 6 and 8 year old a Raspberry Pi for Christmas and the first thing we did was see what this thing called Scratch was. We spent several afternoons creating programs using this very child-friendly program. Once my son saw that he could build the game he wanted to play, and then play it, there was no stopping him - he's the 6 year old. Simple things were easy to accomplish with a little trial and error, but more challenging ideas required some research: How can I get my cat to look as though it is actually walking? How do I keep score during my game? How do I keep my car on the road? Answers to these questions and many more were waiting for me in this book. I worked through the examples from cover to cover over several nights (once the kids were asleep and I could get a look in) and it helped us to progress to a stage where we were really able to create some great projects and learn some of the fundamentals of building computer programs without it seeming like we were all back at school. Since getting this book my children's school has dropped teaching Word, Excel and PowerPoint during ICT lessons, and are now teaching them Scratch. Many schools that follow the National Curriculum for ICT will be doing the same, or have already done so, and this book is a great way to supplement the lessons they are getting at school. The book was perfect for my children and I to work through together or dip into if we wanted to find help on a particular topic. The author has a really engaging style, clearly has a great understanding of the subject and a great ability to communicate that to his readers." Reader review from Amazon
"A well-thought-out book for the young and new to coding, which can be confidently given to those without programming parents to support them, and will get the parents programming, too!"
(from the June 2015 edition of MagPi, the official magazine of the Raspberry Pi Foundation)
Read the review by I Programmer (an online magazine for programmers) here.
"A very easy to follow book for anyone who has no programming experience. My 8 year old son has no problem following the guide without any adult help - it is written in a clear, child friendly way. For me, as an adult that can only use word processing packages and the web/email etc, this book has proven to be a great introduction into the world of programming. Adult and child can learn together - perfect!" (from Amazon.co.uk)
"I am very keen on programming myself, but I was having trouble coming up with inspiration and ideas for my new Scratch games. I received this book and was immediately impressed with its simple-to-follow and child-friendly instructions. The book is very informative and has clear pictures and diagrams which made it easier for me to re-create the programs on my own computer. I loved the fact that you learnt about different areas of Scratch, and how the book had a range of programs, most of which were easily downloaded or produced. My favourite project from the book was Hangman, as it taught me how to write text on the stage, using a sprite ! I would highly recommend this book to all my friends and any beginner, or even experienced Scratch programmer, to improve or inspire their Scratch projects !" (from Amazon.co.uk)
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