Introducing Scratch to improve children’s cognitive skills

Thinley Namgay

Khenrab Tenzin Dhendup, 11, is one of the 15 students taking part in the coding with Scratch programme at the Royal Institute of Management (RIM) that began on December 18.

Scratch is a programming language designed for children developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology to teach them the concepts of programming at an early age.

For the children, the programme is fun and helps their critical thinking skill.

“It will help to build up my career in the future,” says Khenrab. He has created a simple animation, of a bear walking in the forest and a bat comes along to irritate the bear. He has another wherein an owl tries to wake a sleeping bat.

RIM’s head of information and communications department, Palmo Thinley, said the coding was basically writing something using a programming language. “We are teaching basic coding using Scratch. Millions of children around the world create projects using this software.” It helps develop a child’s creative abilities that are needed to invent their own stories, animation, music and, among others.

Palmo Thinley said: “As a young coder, we start with simple scratch where children can drag and drop the pictures, animals and people to create different animation. They are also taught how to create a simple game and how to write animated stories.”

She said the students were very interactive. “We just show some instructions and they come up with their own stories ideas to work with Scratch. If someone completes the task early, they go around and help each other.”

Sonam Zangmo, 12, is a participant. She said the programme is very interesting. “Coding is new to me and it is fun.”

The programme is being introduced to enhance children’s problem solving, creative and logical thinking skills.

“By the end of the programme, participants will be able to create their own interactive stories, games and animation,” said Palmo Thinley.

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