Scratch Club And Beyond

Jacob (1999) talks about his experience of creating and running a Scratch club (4 years experience)
Jacob Weinbren

My name is Jacob Weinbren and I’m 13 years old. My presentation will explain how my friends and I set up and ran a Scratch Club for three years. It will outline the problems we had to overcome, and the benefits of running the club.
When I was 9, my three friends and I decided to start a Scratch club. We planned and ran weekly sessions covering a wide variety of subjects, exploring block functions and developing complex projects.
We ran the club because we thought that Scratch would be very interesting to teach, and we wanted to challenge ourselves. Teachers played a role by supervising our activity and sometimes encouraging us.
For each session, we first met to plan the lesson theme and to select the new block for the week.
Between 20 and 30 members attended each session. Some progressed faster than others, so we adapted our lessons to suit everyone. Each week, we used member feedback to help plan the next session.
In 2010 we entered the UK national Y-Factor competition for innovative education with these videos:
When we were aged 11 and in the final year of primary school, we trained children in the year below to take over the club.
When we moved to secondary school, we decided to run a Scratch club there. Our IT teacher was supportive. However, we faced some problems. We had fewer members, as Scratch was part of the school curriculum. Finding a teacher who was willing to supervise us in the computer lab took months because teachers were too busy to support another club.
The club had many benefits for its members, who had fun and learned to program. I was inspired to go on to run a YouTube Scratch channel (Mr Scratcher), and to learn to program in Java and HTML with Code Academy.