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Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Scratch is a free visual programming software development kit designed by MIT to teach young people how to code. Scratch is an MIT initiative for the institution's Kids Code Academy, which was created to promote programming for children.

Scratch helps to prepare kids for programming through a simple visual interface, which takes modular code and pieces it together through a drag-and-drop interface. Kids and adults can use Scratch to create animations and music.

Scratch is a zero-code interface, meaning that users don't have to actually write any parts of the program. Scratch works by fitting bricks, which have different functions, together to control actions. By fitting the component blocks together, fully functional scripts can be created without traditional programming. Each data type has a block with a different shape and slot. This functionality is similar to the way some other low-code/no-code (LCNC) development platforms work for the enterprise.

Scratch has been a popular initiative with over 25,000,000 projects created to date. MIT also offers ScratchJR as a mobile app allowing even younger kids to start learning programming logic. The goal of the program is that Scratch will inspire young users to continue to develop the hard skills to become proficient software programmers, eventually mastering more complex and powerful languages.

This was last updated in October 2017

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