On Dec 4, 2017, during Computer Science Education Week, Google celebrate 50 years since Kids Coding Languages were first introduced to the world with a very special creation, first ever coding Google Doodle!
Today’s Doodle was developed through the close teamwork of not one or two but THREE teams: the Google Doodle team, Google Blockly team, and researchers from MIT Scratch!
To learn more about the history and importance of kids coding languages, google invited Champika Fernando, one of the project’s most passionate collaborators at MIT, to share her thoughts: “My first experience with coding was in a free after-school program back in the eighties when I was nine years old. We programmed a little green turtle to move around and draw lines on a black screen. That programming language was called Logo”
Logo is a basic programming language that teaches programming principles in a fun and easy way which makes it perfect for kids. It was created in 1967 and was the inspiration for the code Scratch which today’s Google Doodle is built from.
With Logo, children could program the movements of a turtle, giving them the opportunity to explore ideas in math and science. Papert and his colleagues envisioned that computers could eventually be used by all children as a powerful tool for learning.
They saw coding as a way for kids to develop confidence and fluency with a piece of powerful, modern, and one-day ubiquitous technology.
With today’s Doodle — the first coding Doodle ever — celebrate fifty years of coding languages for kids by “Coding for Carrots.”
In the interactive Doodle, you program and help a furry friend across 6 levels in a quest to gather its favorite food by snapping together coding blocks based on the Scratch programming language for kids.
Like Logo, Scratch was developed at MIT and builds on Papert’s early ideas about kids and computers. It’s designed to be less intimidating than typical programming languages, but just as powerful and expressive.
Kids programming on computers must have sounded futuristic and impractical in the 1960’s when Logo was first created.
This week, millions of people around the world can and will have their first experience with coding. It makes me happy to think of all of the nine-year-olds who will get their first coding experience playing with today’s Doodle.