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AETN to host PBS KIDS ScratchJr Code-to-Learn Camp

Posted 05 May 2016

The Arkansas Educational Television Network has a limited number of openings for the PBS KIDS ScratchJr Code-to-Learn Camp for children ages 5-8.

This free camp will be held Tuesday, June 21, through Friday, June 24, from 9 a.m. to noon at the AETN headquarters, 350 South Donaghey Avenue, Conway. Space is limited, and registration is required at aetn.org/kids.

The camp will use collaborative, digital and physical activities to teach children about computer coding. The PBS KIDS ScratchJr Code­to­Learn Camp is designed as a sequence of activities to introduce children to creative coding by giving them the opportunity to create their own stories, games and collages with the PBS KIDS ScratchJr tablet app.

With PBS KIDS ScratchJr, kids can create their own interactive stories and games featuring their favorite characters from 'Wild Kratts,' 'Nature Cat,' 'WordGirl,' 'Peg + Cat,' 'Ready Jet Go!' and more. By snapping together colorful programming blocks, children can make characters move, jump, dance and sing.

As young children engage in creative coding with the PBS ScratchJr app, they learn how to create and express themselves with technology, as opposed to passively consuming it. In the process, they are empowered to solve problems, design projects, demonstrate knowledge and develop computational thinking skills that are foundational for later academic success. With PBS KIDS ScratchJr, children don't just learn to code, they code to learn.

The app is available for free on both iPad and Android tablets. It will run on any iPad 2+, including all iPad minis and iPad Airs with iOS 7.0+ installed. It also runs on any Android tablet, 7 inches or larger, that is running Android 4.2+. It does not need web access to run.

The app is the product of the DevTech Research Group at the Eliot­Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University, directed by Professor Marina Bers, and the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, directed by Professor Mitchel Resnick. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF DRL­1118664), the PBS KIDS ScratchJr tablet app was released in December 2015.

Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) was created in 1961 and is Arkansas's statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN produces 160 hours annually of local, award-winning productions and delivers classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers who make up 95 percent of the state. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at aetn.org. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).