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Short Scratch Programming Challenges

Building programming capacities through coding mini-challenges

At a recent workshop, Mitch Resnick and John Maloney led a session called “Diving Deeper”, in which participants explored several coding challenges that focused on the interactivity of Scratch projects.

For each challenge, Mitch described the challenge, passed out slips of paper with the challenge printed on it, gave people a fixed amount of time to work on it (collaboration with a neighbor was encouraged), and then led a group discussion about the different approaches people took to addressing the challenge.

Twelve challenges were prepared (and are available as a Word document, below):

  • Whenever you press the B key, the sprite gets a little bigger. Whenever you press the S key, the sprite gets a little smaller.
  • Whenever the sprite hears a loud sound, it changes color.
  • Whenever the sprite is in the top 25% of the screen, it says “I like it up here.”
  • When the sprite touches something blue, it plays a high note. When the sprite touches something red, it plays a low note.
  • Whenever two sprites collide, one of them says: “Excuse me.”
  • Whenever the cat sprite gets near the dog sprite, the cat turns and runs away from the dog.
  • Whenever you click on the background, a flower appears at that spot.
  • Whenever you click on a sprite, all other sprites do a dance.
  • When the score reaches 10, the scene (background) changes.
  • The sprite falls as if controlled by gravity, but stops when hits the green ground.
  • The sprite follows the mouse-pointer, but it never gets too close to the mouse-pointer.
  • The sprite follows a red line.

The following video demonstrates the activity in action:

Chalk Marrow


Sounds like this could grow to be something like a Scratch version of Project Euler:


- Dan

Karen Brennan

I haven't seen Project Euler before -- thanks for sharing!

Bea Cantor

 This is great! I will try to replicate it in the Moodle course I'm creating for students to work at their own pace. Thanks for sharing.