The LEGO Foundation and Scratch Foundation have announced a five-year, $10 million partnership aimed at making learning through technology-assisted play more accessible to teachers and equipping children with the skills they need to thrive in a technology-driven world.
To that end, the Scratch Foundation will join the LEGO Foundation Tech & Play Initiative as one of four partner organizations working to develop and disseminate free digital tools, activities, and educational materials. The Scratch programming platform enables children to create digital stories, games, and animations and share them with an online community by "snapping" together graphical blocks of code — similar to the way children build with LEGO bricks. The partnership's initial geographic focus will be on Mexico, South Africa, Ukraine, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Rwanda.
"This is the start of a wonderful new chapter in our thirty-five-year collaboration," said Scratch co-founder and board chair Mitchel Resnick, the LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab. "The key to our long relationship is our shared commitment to improving the lives of children by providing children with new tools and activities for creating, playing, and learning. We're always looking to provide children with opportunities for understanding the world in new ways — and expressing themselves in new ways."
"Children learn most effectively when they are playfully engaged in constructing meaningful projects," said LEGO Group owner and LEGO Foundation board member Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen. "Scratch shows how computer programming is not only a very creative process but also an important skills-building activity that offers children the opportunity to tell and live their own stories by building and creating things that are important to them."
(Photo credit: Scratch Foundation)