Saturday 19th May is 'Scratch Day' and will see a gathering of budding programmers at Swindon's Museum of Computing.
Scratch is a computer program designed by MIT specifically to get children programming, enabling them to write games, animations and stories. Scratch Day is a worldwide event where people can come together to meet other ‘Scratchers’, share projects and experiences, and learn more about Scratch.
Simon Webb, Curator of the museum said 'There is an enormous amount of interest at the moment in getting kids coding, this is something that we have been very successful with in our childrens computer club. Scratch is a fabulous way of getting kids to start to learn programming, at the same time as having a lot of fun. We are keen to get children along on the day, but also teachers and parents who want to see what can be done with Scratch'
Jackie Cox, a volunteer on the education team and event organiser said 'This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning how to program to come along and find out what it's all about, and it's not just for children. It will also enable people who already program in Scratch to meet other Scratchers and maybe collaborate on some projects. Who knows, the next 'Angry Birds' game might be born here!'
There will be a drop in area in the museum where people can get a taste of programming and discover more about Scratch while also meeting the members of the childrens computer club in the morning. For those who want to really cut their teeth on programming, there will be introductory games programming workshops running throughout the day in the museum's classroom. Places for the workshops are limited and must be pre booked.
Finally the museum will be launching a Scratch programming competition on the day. Participants will have four weeks to write their own computer game which will be judged by a panel of experts. 'We've got some great prizes lined up' commented Begonia Sepa who runs the childrens computer club 'we are really excited to see what people can create, we are looking for originality as well as programming expertise' Not only will the top three winners get a great prize, their work will also feature in a display in the museum. Entry to the competition is £1.
Admission to the museum is £2 for adults, £1 for children and £1.50 concessions and a family ticket is £5. The games programming workshops are £3 and include admission to the museum.
For more information go to the museums website www.museumofcomputing.org.uk
For games programming workshop booking please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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More information on Scratch http://scratch.mit.edu/
More information on Scratch Day http://day.scratch.mit.edu/
The Museum of Computing was the first dedicated computer museum in the UK, opening in 2003. It is a non-for-profit Company limited by guarantee and is run entirely by volunteers. The museum has a collection of over 3000 objects related to the history of computing and holds regular exhibitions and events.
The museum is in Swindon town centre at 6-7 Theatre Square, Swindon SN1 1QN, close to the new Central Library.
Opening times are: Fridays from 10am to 4pm and Saturdays from 9.30am to 5 pm. There is a classroom for talks, childrens computer club, adult computer classes and gaming events. The museum welcomes school parties and group visits by appointment.
The museum is sponsored by the following organisations:
Clark Holt Commercial Solicitors ( www.clarkholt.com)
PC Teach ( www.pc-teach.co.uk)
Intel UK ( www.intel.com)
Silent-G Design ( www.silent-g.co.uk)
Alpha Galileo ( www.alphagalileo.org)
Dennis's Removals and Storage ( www.dennissremovals.co.uk)
Shepherd Consulting ( www.shepherdconsulting.co.uk)
Space Contained ( www.spacecontained.com/)
The museum is supported by the following organisations:
Wiltshire Branch of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT ( www.@wiltshirebcs.org)