Scratch Programming: Meet Winky!

26 Mar

Scratch, what is Scratch?  I’m glad you asked (kind of).  Scratch is an amazing program on my Raspberry Pi.  It came with the Raspbian Wheezy Linux that I installed.  It’s so simple and fun that I want to experiment with it every day.  Most nights, I spend the last half hour before bed learning more about Scratch.

You can download Scratch for a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer and you can also put it on your Raspberry Pi if it’s not already there.  Also, they are beta testing version 2.0 and you can use it online even from a Chromebook or netbook.  Unfortunately, you can’t save your files online, but you can download them to your computer to work on later.

Scratch is a programming language but you don’t need to memorize code.  Instead of creating a while loop, you just drag a “forever-if” block onto the stage.  You just type a couple of numbers instead of a lot of code.  There are blocks to show/hide the character, move him, detect collisions, do math, draw shapes, keep score, and more.  With all of these blocks, you can create games, videos, animations, RPGs, classic video games, and anything else your brain can imagine.

Then, you can upload your Scratch projects to share with the rest of the world.  Or you can see what other brilliant people have done with Scratch.  Just go to There are more than 3 million projects there already!

I have an ebook called Super Scratch Programming Adventure.  It teaches you how to do great projects.  Sometimes I struggle, though, because it doesn’t give you all of the details and you have to figure some things out by yourself.  A couple of times, I’ve wasted a lot of time doing it wrong and I don’t figure it out until later.  Like one time, I spent hours drawing these new costumes and it turned out that they were supposed to be sprites.  Luckily, my dad got on the Google+ Scratch page and asked for help and the nice people helped us figure out how to convert costumes to sprites.  Then my Linux got corrupt and I had to reinstall and I lost everything anyhow.

So far, I’ve uploaded one project to the Scratch website.  I was using a Scratch tutorial that was teaching how to move the usual cat character, Scratchy, around the screen.  I decided to change it to a fish and change the background to an aquarium.  The tutorial helped me move him in the shape of a star and drop a pen to make him draw a star.  My dad wasn’t happy that when the fish moved to the left, he was facing to the right and it didn’t look realistic.  So, I figured out how to tell when he’s moving left and made him face left and when he’s moving right and made him face right.

But that wasn’t cute enough for an 11 year old girl, so I had to add my own touch to it.  I added some animation to make my fish (named “Winky”) wink after he drew the star.  All I did was color in his eye with the same color as his body (my dad had to teach me what the eye dropper does) and then draw a black line.  Even though it’s just an eye and then a line and then an eye, it really looks like he’s winking!  OK, enough talk, let me show you my new pet . . . Winky!  Oh, yeah, I almost forgot.  I also made the star rainbow colored!  Awesome!!!

Here’s a simple tutorial on the basics of Scratch:


6 Responses to “Scratch Programming: Meet Winky!”

  1. broonyboy March 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    keep up the good work!!

  2. parkyerbike April 20, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

    It’s fantastic that you are so into your Pi, these devices were designed for people exactly like you to gain an understanding in hardware/software. Keep up the good work

  3. Deanie April 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    Hi, I have a 8 year old with a raspberry pi, and he’s begging for it because he is reading the “hello world” book on python…however, I don’t know the best website and what accessories I need…they all seem a little different and I don’t want to be overcharged…any recommendations?

    • krystal92586 April 24, 2013 at 4:23 am #

      This is Krystal’s dad answering now. There are a lot of accessories that you’ll need for the Pi. First, you need a power supply. It’s a pretty common supply, we’ve used one intended for a blackberry as well as for a digital camera. You’ll also need a keyboard and mouse. Even if you go wireless, you’ll be using up most or all of the USB ports on the Pi, so you’ll need a powered USB hub (one that plugs into the electrical outlet in the wall). You’ll also need at least one memory card of a least 2 GB, preferably more. We actually have 3 memory cards. One was given to her with the operating system already on it. One, she wanted to learn how to load Linux on it. And the third has XBMC (Open ELEC) to stream movies. But, to stream movies, you’ll need a flash drive to hold the movies. Then, if you want to blink LEDs or control anything with the GPIO pins, you’ll need a ribbon cable, breadboard, and a variety of electronics components. Unless you want to build one yourself, you’ll need a case for the Pi as well. Also, you’ll need either a wireless internet dongle or a long CAT5 cable.
      The hello world book is pretty good although the one that we had was old and some of it didn’t apply to the version of Python we were using.
      As for where to buy things, has almost everything you’ll need. For example, here’s a starter kit with a case, power supply, ribbon cable, breadboard, components, memory card, etc. for about $70.00
      I’ve tried ebay and I wouldn’t recommend it. The stuff just doesn’t come with instructions and it’s never exactly the same as the instructions you can find online. Just not worth it.

      I hope this helps,

  4. Deanie April 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    I meant to say he wants a raspberry pi for his birthday 🙂


  1. Scratch Programming: Meet Winky! | Raspberry World - March 26, 2013

    […] By krystal92586 […]

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