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Adventures in Raspberry Pi “Adventure 3”

scratch_tntw

Adventure 3 is titled “Creating Stories and Games with Scratch”. Scratch is a great programming interface developed by MIT. It is a free and open source visual coding environment. You can install it on your computer or use it through your web browser. It is designed for 8 years of age and up. Here is a link to the Scratch home page.

Since Scratch is open source the developers of the Raspberry Pi are able to integrate it as part of the software package that is included with Raspbian. Raspbian is the Linux based operating system that the Raspberry Pi uses. This also allowed the developers to integrate support for the Raspberry Pi directly into Scratch. You can program the Raspberry Pi through Scratch.

Scratch Interface

The first part of this chapter covers the basics of Scratch. Getting familiar with navigation and terminology. You are then led through the process of changing the background image and creating custom costumes and sprites. This leads directly into creating an animation.

You are then taught how to create a Role-Playing game. This section is where you start to depart from what the tutorials included with Scratch can cover. Variables are presented in this section to demonstrate how to add a health meter for your character. Movement of in-game characters is also covered. A new term is also introduced here “threads”, this term is used to describe multiple scripts running concurrently.

wiley

This is a lengthy chapter for this book at 33 pages. It may be a good idea to introduce children to Scratch before tackling this chapter. I would recommend students work through the tutorials in Scratch. This will allow them the opportunity to familiarize themselves with navigating the interface. Having personally worked through the tutorials in Scratch myself, I would say this chapter takes it to the next level.

The book does a very good job of describing each step and they also have additional support material at the books support page. I think students could easily spend hours in Scratch building their own creations. This chapter provides all the necessary tools for students to take their creativity anywhere they like.

This is the 3rd installment of the Adventures in Raspberry Pi book review. Use these links to check out my previous posts – Adventures In Raspberry Pi, and Adventures in Raspberry Pi “Adventure 2”

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