This workshop addresses the concepts of simple algebraic equations and variables by teaching pupils to create their own calculator using the Scratch programming environment.

Pupils begin the day by participating in a CS4FN activity “The Australian Magician’s Dream”. This introduces them to the idea of instructions and algorithms. After learning the trick for themselves, the pupils apply decomposition skills to identify how the various aspects of a calculator work. Using what they have learnt they attempt to write their own algorithms for the different buttons on a calculator interface.

After having prepared their algorithms, pupils spend time developing their skills in scratch and begin by making a simple addition calculator with sprites of their own design. Pupils discuss interface design for the calculator and how they can use the Scratch commands to add further interactivity. Further modifications and functionality are added to the calculator as the pupils become more confident.

*You will need to register on the site in order to be able to fully access all the teaching materials for this workshop. Registration is free*