Earlier this month, we launched the Collab Challenge, a two-month experiment in which young people are working together in teams (or collabs) to create interactive stories, games, and animations using the Scratch graphical programming language.
For members of the Scratch community (mostly ages 8 to 15), the Collab Challenge is an opportunity to exercise their imagination and creativity. For members of our Scratch Design Team, the Collab Challenge is a chance to study and analyze how young people collaborate on interactive projects -- so that we can design new features and tools to better support collaboration in the Scratch community.
Already, more than 100 collabs have registered to participate in the challenge. We will observe how collab members work together both in-person and online. At the end of the Collab Challenge (in early March), we will select several of the collab projects to feature on the Scratch front page, a highly sought-after honor among Scratch community members. The projects will be selected based on originality of the project; creativity of art and music; and elegance and sophistication of programming.
The Collab Challenge is part of our MacArthur-funded Scratch & Share project, in which we are developing a new generation of Scratch, called Scratch 2.0. An important goal of Scratch 2.0 is to expand and enhance collaboration opportunities in Scratch. Using the current version of Scratch, many community members are already collaborating with one another on projects, but it is not easy for these collabs to share drafts of a project, define responsibilities, or develop a clear identity as a group. For Scratch 2.0, we are designing new tools and features to make it easier for collab members to work together as a team -- and the Collab Challenge will provide us with inspiration and ideas to guide the design of these new collaboration features.