For the students first project in Scratch they were given the challenge of creating a "Dance Party". This project enabled them to explore Scratch 2.0 (which has many new features). There were no specific requirements for this introductory exercise, so each child was free to take the program as far as they wanted. Some students created a "Party" with multiple sprites and a variety of backdrops, while others focused their attention on a single sprite with a collection of dance moves.
Scratch is the ideal introductory programming language for the middle school students. Without the constraints of mastering syntax, students are free to focus their attention on learning to think creatively, work collaboratively and reason systematically.
With future projects, students will learn more advanced computing concepts (such as conditionals and loops). All of the students' projects will be shared and readily viewed through a Scratch studio.