Scratch in School Education

Fundación Gabriel Piedrahita Uribe, PDF Version (Spanish)

Thanks to the support of the Motorola Foundation, Motorola de Colombia Ltda., Motorola Solutions Foundation and the management of Give to Colombia, the Gabriel Piedrahita Uribe Foundation (FGPU) implemented the Scratch project with which it sought to contribute to the development of skills of the century XXI, higher order intellectual capacities [1] and computational thinking, by primary school students.

Signing of the agreement, in 2009, between Motorola Colombia, Give to Colombia and the FGPU

This project was carried out between 2009 and 2013, in four phases. Its implementation contemplated the design of the curricular component of Scratch [2] that was initially tested with a group of Computer Science, Mathematics and Natural Sciences teachers, belonging to Educational Institutions of Cali (Colombia) who are in charge of vulnerable populations. Based on the feedback received from that first group, the corresponding adjustments were made to start the training of a larger group.

Additionally, both the aforementioned curricular component and all the materials developed and tested by the FGPU throughout the project were published, free of charge, in the Eduteka thematic module “Computer Programming in School Education”. Translations of other Scratch-related support materials were also posted there to make them available to Spanish-speaking teachers in Latin America and Spain.


It is very satisfying for the FGPU to report that all the objectives established for each of the four phases of the project were fully met. We are pleased to share with the Spanish-speaking educational community that we continue to obtain direct evidence of how teacher qualifications, carried out in Colombia during the execution of this project, have impacted their students’ work with programming. The above is happening in hundreds of classrooms in different regions of the country where we find children and young people, not only fascinated with the power that SCRATCH gives them over the machine, but also creating, improving their learning and strengthening intellectual skills such as computational thinking, effective communication and collaborative work.

Below we list the achievements in the four phases of execution of this project, which, as we said, were carried out between 2009 and 2013:


-Workshop “Educational use of Scratch” in which 92 teachers from Educational Institutions from 3 departments of Colombia participated – Phase I (2009-2010).
-Intensive training in the Scratch computer programming environment for 90 teachers from 73 Educational -Institutions during the celebration of “Scratch Day 2009” at Icesi University, Cali, Colombia.
-Workshop “Educational use of Scratch” for 220 teachers belonging to Educational Institutions from 5 departments of Colombia – Phase II (2010-2011). The goal established for this phase was to train 150 teachers.
-Workshop “Educational use of Scratch” for 18 officials from both the Omar Dengo Foundation and the Costa Rican Secretary of Education, August 2010.
-Workshop “Educational use of Scratch” for 234 teachers who work in Educational Institutions of 6 departments of Colombia – Phase III (2011-2012). The goal of this third phase was to train 180 teachers.
-The group of trainers of the “Digital Tolima” project of the University of Ibagué, qualified within the framework of this project (Phases II and III), trained 2,190 teachers in 46 municipalities of the department of Tolima.
-Intensive training for 52 teachers and school directors from 13 Educational Institutions in Tolima in the integration of Scratch into the school curriculum.
-Workshop “Educational use of Scratch” for 187 teachers belonging to Educational Institutions of Concepción, Coronel and Purranque in Chile.
-Workshop “Educational use of Scratch” for 258 teachers who work in Educational Institutions of 6 departments of Colombia – Phase IV (2012-2013).
-Pilot Workshop on Digital Storytelling with Scratch for 8 teachers from the María Perlaza Educational Institutions, -Popular Educational Corporation (CEP) and La Providencia; July and August 2012, Cali.
-Workshop on the use and programming of the Sensor Card (TDS) with Scratch. It was given to teachers from the Institute of Our Lady of the Assumption (INSA); September, 2012, Cali.
-Workshop on the new version 2.0 of Scratch addressed to 12 INSA teachers; March, 2013, Cali.
-Workshop on “Identification, expression and regulation of emotions with Scratch” given to 13 teachers belonging to 6 Educational Institutions in Cali; April 2013.

Other achievements

-Design of the workshop “Educational use of Scratch” that is carried out in two phases. The first in which competence in the use of the programming environment is developed, that is, learning to program with Scratch and to use all the options that the environment offers. The second, trains the participants to enrich, using Scratch, subjects such as Computer Science/Systems, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and others.
-Publication of the “Guide to Algorithms and Programming in School Education”.
-Publication of the “Programming with Scratch Workbook” for Students. The notebook is currently in its fourth version.
-Publication in the section corresponding to Scratch in the “Computer Programming Module in School Education”, of the compendium of various materials that facilitate the use of Scratch in schools. These were elaborated or translated and tested by the FGPU.
-Design of two Rubrics to assess the level of skills development achieved by qualified teachers within the framework of this project.
-1,430 students directly impacted in the period 2009-2010.
-Participation in the construction of an operative definition of Computational Thinking and in the definition of the skills that a student must demonstrate in this type of thinking. The above, at the invitation of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
-Nomination of 47 educational experiences to opt for the Colombia Scratch Prize 2012
-Celebration of the World Scratch Day (Scratch Day) with an academic event held on May 4 and 5, 2012 at the Icesi University of Cali. 467 teachers and directors participated, from 13 departments of Colombia representing more than 45 Educational Institutions.
-21,060 students impacted in the 2011-2012 period (Phase III).
-Design and construction of the Sensor Card (TDS). This includes a light sensor, a sound sensor, a button, and a slider. It also has a USB cable to connect it to the computer. In addition, with four inputs and four sets of clamps (alligators) that allow various sensors to be connected.
-14,611 students impacted in the period 2012-2013 (Phase IV).
-1,230 Class Projects created by teachers, housed in the Eduteka Project Manager, in which Scratch is used as a tool to enrich learning environments.
-Design and implementation of a support and updating program for teachers who are already using Scratch in the classroom.
-Design of a proposal to “Identify, express and regulate emotions with Scratch”.
-52 educational experiences registered to opt for the Colombia Scratch Prize 2013.
-On the Scratch for teachers website ScratchEd, 82% of the content in Spanish corresponds to contributions made by the FGPU (Jul, 2013).
-Translation of the Scratch interface into Guaraní, carried out by Bolivians Karina Maldonado, Christopher N. Flores and Raúl Aruchari, with the coordination of the FGPU.
-Publication of the chapter “Identification and regulation of emotions with Scratch”, written by Juan Carlos López (Editor of Eduteka), in the book “Emerging trends in education with ICT”; work edited by Asociación Espiral, Educación y Tecnología, Barcelona, ​​2012.
-Participation with the conference “Impact of Scratch on the development of Computational Thinking” by Juan Carlos López García in the “Scratch Connecting Worlds” meeting held in 2013 in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

Once FGPU adopted Scratch to expand the Algorithms and Programming in School Education program, it contacted Dr. Resnick at the NECC’08 conference. There, generously, he opened the door for a later visit to his Laboratory at MIT (Boston) and to learn more about both the work team and the projections of this project. This visit, the first of three, took place in October 2008.

                                          Francisco Piedrahita, Andrés Monroy-Hernández, Dr. Michael Resnick,
                                                    Claudia de Piedrahita and Claudia Urrea at the Media Lab.