Anytime Program: PBS Kids ScratchJr Camp

  • WFSU hosts its first PBS Kids ScratchJr. Camp at Riley Elementary

  • The PBS KIDS ScratchJr App

    PBS KIDS launched PBS KIDS ScratchJr, a free app developed in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab and Tufts University’s Developmental Technologies Research Group. Available now on iPad and Android tablets, PBS KIDS ScratchJr helps children ages 5 to 8 learn core coding concepts. As a result, they create their own interactive stories using PBS KIDS characters.

    PBS KIDS ScratchJr incorporates PBS KIDS media properties, including WILD KRATTS, WORDGIRL, PEG + CAT and the new series NATURE CAT. Kids snap together colorful programming blocks to make their favorite characters jump, dance and sing. At the same time, they will express themselves creatively by solving problems and designing projects.

    “PBS KIDS ScratchJr uses the power of technology to help children learn,” said Sara DeWitt, Vice President, PBS KIDS Digital. “The PBS KIDS ScratchJr App puts kids in the driver’s seat, where they express themselves through storytelling. While kids are playing with their favorite characters, they are also exploring the basics of coding, an important 21st-century literacy.”

    Learn more about PBS KIDS ScratchJr.

    About the Camp

    The PBS KIDS ScratchJr Camp uses PBS KIDS ScratchJr, an introductory programming language app inspired by the popular Scratch program, used by millions of young people around the world. The folks at SratchJr. joined with PBS Kids to design features that match their overall growth. By redesigning the programming language, they made the process developmentally appropriate for younger children.

    During the PBS KIDS ScratchJr camp, young people can create their own digital animations, comic book-style stories, and basic games. They can even feature their favorite characters from shows like Wild Kratts, Nature Cat, WordGirl, Peg + Cat, and more. As young children code with PBS KIDS ScratchJr, they learn how to express themselves with technology, not just to interact with it. In the process, children learn to solve problems and design projects. They also develop sequencing skills that are important for later academic success. They also use math and language in a motivating context, supporting the development of early childhood numeracy and literacy.

    With PBS KIDS ScratchJr, children aren’t just learning to code, they’re coding to learn. If you are interested in partnering with us to share this camp with your group, let us know.

  • WFSU PBS KIDS ScratchJr Camp at Riley Elementary (21st CCLC Summer Program)

    Alongside the launch of the app, WFSU was awarded a special grant from PBS KIDS and Verizon. With this grant, we piloted a PBS KIDS ScratchJr Summer Camp Program and a Professional Development Workshop for teachers. 

    For two weeks in 2017, the media center at Riley Elementary was transformed into a high-tech laboratory. Over 30 children from ages 5 to 12 harnessed their creativity and logical thinking skills to create digital, animated stories.

    Using the PBS KIDS ScratchJr app, children manipulated the colorful programming blocks which allowed them to create sequences of actions that caused characters to animate and interact in exciting ways. Kids could program with beloved PBS KIDS characters, create unique animations, and even add sounds and give voice to projects.

    The camp was led by Leon County schools Felisha Williams, Title 1 District Math Coordinator, and assisted by Kelley Duda, Advanced Placement Faculty at Rickards High School.

    Find more activities through PBS LearningMedia in conjunction with Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code.

  • WFSU PBS KIDS ScratchJr Professional Development Training

    This professional development training taught dozens of teachers about the potential of using the PBS KIDS ScratchJr app in their classrooms or for extracurricular learning. The same training is available for your school as well.

    For more information, please email the WFSU education staff to schedule today! Contact

    WFSU PBS KIDS Family Creative Learning

    “We see coding as a new way for people to organize, express and share their ideas,”said Mitchel Resnick, LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research and Director of the Scratch Team at the MIT Media Lab. “Coding is not just a set of technical skills, but a new type of literacy and personal expression, valuable for everyone, much like learning to write.”

    During the initial pilot, WFSU selected schools and locations to host  PBS KIDS Family Creative Learning. This special program is a series of workshops that engage families in a project-based creative process using the PBS KIDS ScratchJr app. Families with children ages 5 to 8 (and siblings) used creative play to learn about exciting tools. They used the tools to develop computation and engineering knowledge and practices as they imagined, planned, and designed their own child-led projects. In short, the series aimed to foster collaboration and problem-solving skills among family members. 

    The model is inspired by and built upon a model developed by Ricarose Roque at the MIT Media Lab.

    PBS KIDS ScratchJr is now available for free from the App Store on iPad and from the Google Play store on Android tablets. More information on PBS KIDS apps is available at