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GBMS students learn computer programing from Scratch
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A student in Steve Beaumonts computer class at Great Bend Middle School engages in computational thinking while using a computer programming program called Scratch. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Great Bend Middle School computer students are getting exposure to computer programing with Scratch, a free website built at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Students of Steve Beaumont, computer/keyboarding/teacher, engage in computational thinking by clicking and dragging command prompts to program what happens on their screen. Students really enjoy working with Scratch and even think they are playing while they are learning 21st century digital literacy skills that will be in demand in the workplace of the future, said Darcy Leech, technology coach.
Through Scratch, students do things like design a music video by picking a character and building a custom sequence of actions for that sprite to take on screen. Not only do students engage in problem solving and critical thinking, but they also design and create. Some students create a break dancing sequence, some have a disco ball dancer and some animate dancing elephants.
“Thanks to the technology available in the district, GBMS is able to give students a quality education in content and digital literacy, perhaps one of the most important skills for the middle schoolers’ futures,” Leech said. “Maybe a few of Mr. Beaumont’s students will grow up to work in computer programing,” she said. “For sure, many of them will work at a business that utilizes computer skills and wants employees who can think through the process of wanting something to happen and how to make it happen with technology and human ingenuity.
“We’re excited to see what this generation can do in the future,” Leech said.