The Google Doodle lets you try your hand at a virtual theremin today.
Also go watch the wonderful 1994 documentary Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey, which includes performances and interviews with Ms. Rockmore herself.
The students got a brief introduction to Scratch (http://scratch.mit.edu) and shared laptops to do whatever they wanted for an hour, after which they got up on stage and presented their projects to the whole room. We were there to answer questions and to help get the kids unstuck, and to provide encouragement and suggestions.
The projects ranged from animated dancing celebrities to Pac-Man-like games. It was fun to see what the kids came up with, but it was really moving to see them be creative, get challenged, and learn as they went.
People ask me all the time for suggestions for how to get their kids or their students interested in CS or just how to get started. I'm going to start recommending Scratch. Even if a kid has no one to give them a lesson, I'll bet there are tutorials and things out there that will help. And the Scratch site has publicly featured projects that let you see their source code and make your own copy to start with.
I suppose it's a hopeful story in this time of religious and political extremism. But I doubt that such hope is anywhere near enough to match how easy it is for people to be overwhelmed by cultism and xenophobia.
- Senior Software Engineer, 2007 - present
- AccentureConsultant, 2006 - 2007
- Random Walk Computing IncConsultant, 2004 - 2006
- StarMedia NetworkVP Engineering, 1997 - 2001
- Harvard UniversityCognitive Neuroscience, 1995 - 1997
- Harvard CollegeComputer Science, 1990 - 1994
- Collegiate SchoolHigh school, 1986 - 1990
- Grace Church SchoolGrade school, 1978 - 1986
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