KOTA SAMARAHAN, 19-20 MARCH 2018: Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Faculty of Science Computer and Information Technology (FCSIT), held a Scratch Programming-Program for Kids on March 19&20 recently. Forty school children aged 10-12 years old attended the two-day event, which aims to teach basic “Scratch programming" as well as to improve digital literacy skills. The Computational Thinking (CT) and Computer Science (CS) skills were introduced into Malaysia primary school curriculum last year, with the intention to expose the school children to digital technology and educate them to become "digital makers". Following this initiative, the program aims to attract primary school children to CT and CS through UNIMAS Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program such as this, "Scratch Programming for Kids".
The program included introduction to Scratch; a drag and drop, block-based, snap-together programming language. Kids were taught how to create simple animations, designed their own digital characters and developed computer games. Elements of CT were embedded through unplugged activities in the class, where kids were given fun problems to solve.
The program was conducted by FCSIT faculty lecturers, who were facilitated by faculty students.
The UNIMAS Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, was chosen as one of the hub for MyDigital Maker (MYDM) CPD Center under the collaboration with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDec). The role of MYDM CPD Center is to increase the readiness in the digital knowledge through computational thinking (CT) and computer science (CS) teaching certificate program for teachers, outreach program based on digital making, programming and robotics for school students and as a reference point for Digital Maker in East Malaysia (Sarawak) zone.