SCRIPT—Scratch International Programming Trial— is a project whose aim is to promote coding among 6 – 16 years old pupils and teachers. In order to involve children in coding, Script uses Scratch programming language—developed by the MIT Media Lab—which is like a game, a serious game where children can discover basic concepts of programming. Script was initiated in 2011 as a Scratch local contest organized at Subsidiary Orsova of Palatul Copiilor Drobeta Turnu Severin. Starting on 2012, Script has been included yearly in the Educational Activities’ Calendar of the Romanian Ministry of Education as regional project (2012), national project (2013), and international project (since 2014).
We started to organize Script when we understood that in few years the programming will have the same importance as reading, writing, and numeracy; regardless of the profession chosen by students, they must have skills in programming. The trend is proven by multiple initiatives, all over the world, that contribute to promote programming among students (e.g. CodeWeek organized by the European Commission; American initiative Hour of Code).
Script project has two main online events: Scratch programming competition, and symposium. The contest targets primary and secondary pupils aged 7 to 16. Pupils organized in teams of two–four members design a project in Scratch programming language for one or more of the contest sections (e.g. Greetings, Games, Stories, Simulations, and Educational Software). For each of the sections there are different age categories (e.g. one for each grade from 0 to 9; grade 0 –> 7 years old; grade 1 –> 8 years old; … grade 9 –> 16 years old). The aim of the symposium is the dissemination of activities and results of the students and teachers involved in developing educational resources for learning Scratch programming.
Script stimulates development of coding activities in school, some teachers starting Scratch programming activities when they involve in Script. The Script participants—from North America, South America, Asia, and Europe—expressed their appreciations to the contest and the hope that the project will be continued next years. The Script project has an impact not just on the teachers and pupils directly involved, but also on the public which become aware of importance, for our pupils and us, to transform from tech users to tech creators.