If you are interested in having a CaTaPuLT Club at your site, the following information is for you!
For the past few years, UW-Madison students in Computer Science have been teaching local kids about computational thinking and programming in Scratch. The CS clubs are held weekly either afterschool or on the weekends and are currently focused on 4th and 5th graders. The CS students who lead the weekly clubs are all enrolled in a CS service-learning course in which they acquire the necessary skills for presenting material at the appropriate level.
For planning, we usually decide on the sites where we can run a club at least one semester ahead of time. The clubs run for about 12 weeks; in the Fall, from approximately the 4th week of September to the 2nd week of December; in the Spring, from the 2nd week of February to the 2nd week of May (with classes off during both UW and MMSD Spring Break). We have found that clubs held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays immediately after-school (e.g., from 3:30 - 4:30) fit best with UW and MMSD schedules.
We do not charge a fee for the clubs.
Sites that are interested in collaborating with us must be able to provide the following:
- A contact representative from your school to help handle administrative details (e.g., a member of the PTO or a teacher)
- An enrollment of 8 to 16 4th and 5th graders who are committed to attending the club (most) every week. Children who are repeatedly disruptive in the club will not be able to remain in our program. Different children can be enrolled each semester. We can accommodate both beginners and returning students. If you have more than 16 students interested in the club, we prefer that priority be given to students in this order:
- who increase the diversity of your club
- who are new to Scratch
- who are in 5th grade
- who were on a waiting list from a previous semester
- Adult supervision of the club each week (e.g., a parent or teacher). The adult supervisor is responsible for taking attendance and ensuring that all children are picked up after the club. The adult should help the UW students with ill or disruptive children. The more the adult can help with classroom management, the better!
- Periodic feedback to the UW students about their performance.
- Computers (desktop or laptops) with Scratch; Scratch is free (from http://scratch.mit.edu) and on the approved list of software for MMSD
- A projector the UW students can use for showing Scratch lessons.
Please email Professor Andrea Arpaci-Dusseau if you are interested in planning a club for a future semester.