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Karen Brennan came up with the original idea for Scratch Day and organized the first worldwide event in 2009, while she was a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab.
The Scratch Day website was designed by Carl Bowman and Jessica Im and implemented by Matt Gabor, Peter Landry, and J. Hogue. Kasia Chmielinski, Lisa O’Brien, and Saskia Leggett contributed to the conceptualization and organization of the website. Natalie Rusk and Ricarose Roque advised on the development of Scratch Day resources.
Scratch Day was held on Saturday, May 14 in 2016. The 2016 official forum is found here. The Scratch Day forum of the current year was used to schedule or organize events and try to get others to come.
Scratchers, prior to Scratch Day, begin discussing possible meetings with other Scratchers. Different meetings and parties are organized and announced, whereupon a thumbtack is placed on the official Scratch Day map. Users can discuss when and where the meetings will take place, usually done in a forum created specifically for the organization of the event.
What Happens at Scratch Day Events
At any Scratch Day event, different things may happen, as it is up to the organizer. However, users commonly collaborate on different projects, share their ideas and experiences, and overall, have fun.
Although this is not completely considered an actual Scratch Day event, it was most likely a way to test out the idea of having an event where Scratchers could meetup — so when it came to the right time next year, they could make sure the event was well-planned. The topic on the Scratch Forums to sign up was located here. At the event, many Scratch Team members were present, including Jay Silver (jay on the Scratch Website), Andrés Monroy-Hernández (andresmh on the Scratch Website), and Mitchel Resnick (mres on the Scratch Website). This event took place at the MIT Media Lab on Saturday, December 6, 2008 (the same day that the Scratch Programming Wiki was created), 10:00am to 1:00pm, with pizza and drinks included, all for free, although with registration required. In addition, it was recommended that people brought laptops with them.
Scratch Day MIT 2009
- For the Scratch Day 2009 forum, see Archived Forums#Scratch Day 2009.
This was the event held at MIT Media Lab for the first Scratch Day celebration. This event was held in the same building as the Scratch Meetup (the MIT Media Lab), but was held for a much longer duration; there was then more time to discuss Scratch and other matters. In addition, there was a limit of only 200 participants, so it would not be too crowded. The official event page on the Scratch Day Website is here. There were various prizes (a mug, a T-shirt, and two PicoBoards) that were given out for various contests including a raffle. They tested the first beta of Scratch 1.4, which included the ask and answer blocks, and Mesh.
Scratch Day MIT 2010
The usual gathering began, with projects shared from certain timezones and given to users from other timezones for them to remix as a bonus.
A Scratch Cat made of Lego blocks shipped from the Czech Republic was present at MIT; many Scratchers viewed it, along with participating in a discussion of Scratch 2.0 ideas.
Scratch Day MIT 2011
The LEGO Scratch Cat returned in 2011, and Lego WeDos were given to test at the beginning of Scratch Day. There were mirrors on the floor of one of the rooms, and a bulletin board, and the activity there was called "reflect". Its purpose was to answer the questions on each section by putting a Post-It with words on it.
Scratch Day MIT 2012
Scratch Day was divided into five areas; Share, Reflect, Hack, Create, and Discuss. The event was mainly focused on Scratch's fifth birthday celebration and the alpha of Scratch 2.0 made available for Scratch Day. Different events were scheduled for different times at each section. There was a scavenger hunt to find different people who had done different things. After completing the scavenger hunt, you were entered in a raffle to win prizes. Much of the Scratch Team was at the event, and only 14 tickets were left at the end of the sale period.
Many Scratchers are unable to attend a Scratch Day meeting — many live far away from one or are unable to host one. If that is the case, they can use the provided Scratch Day forum, view images posted by other Scratchers at other Scratch Day events, or allow a few friends over and have an unofficial Scratch Day gathering. It's even possible to host an online Scratch Day event.
Scratch was released on May 15, 2007. While the annual official Scratch Day date (when Scratch Day MIT is held) varies, it is always set to land on a weekend, allowing a large number of Scratchers to attend. Scratch Day 2016 happened on May 14.
- Scratch Meetup at MIT 2008: July 24–26
- Scratch Day 2009: May 19
- Scratch Day 2010: May 22
- Scratch Day 2011: May 21
- Scratch Day 2012: May 19
- Scratch Day 2013: May 18
- Scratch Day 2014: May 17
- Scratch Day 2015: May 9