DMS and video games? Don’t have to be mutually exclusive! In June, as part of the Hacker School, Laura Kurzer and Lutz Kohl from EASY SOFTWARE taught a group of teenagers how to create their own digital games, interactive stories and animations using Scratch. The online course was quickly completely booked up.
The Hacker School is a non-profit offering for teenagers aged 11 to 18 that helps them take the step into the world of IT. The Hacker School’s interactive online courses are often created in collaboration with IT professionals from external companies. The respective contents of the courses, which usually last two days and a total of eight hours, can be freely designed by the teachers. The goal of the course with EASY was for the teenagers to be able to handle Scratch so well at the end that they can continue to work on their own, small projects.
Scratch is an educational visual programming language for children and young adults with a close-knit open source community. Thanks to its block-based interface, newcomers can quickly get their first results without having to learn a programming language first.
“Scratch is perfect for learning exploratively and celebrating quick moments of success. Especially for young budding computer scientists, Scratch is the ideal introduction to programming. After a short time, the kids already created their first little racing and platforming games. In the end, we tinkered with a rudimentary remake of the 1979 classic Asteroids,” says Lutz Kohl, Chief Evangelist at EASY.
Laura Kurzer is also enthusiastic about the success of the course: “In the company, of course, we rarely get the chance to work with children. It was exciting to see how creatively and differently the boys and girls approached their tasks. Everyone was very motivated and contributed many of their own ideas. Computer science seems like a sealed book to many people, but as you can see from the Hacker School courses, it doesn’t have to be that way.”