CCT served as the evaluator of this National Science Foundation DRK-12 Research and Development project, awarded to Mitch Resnick and colleagues at the MIT Media Lab in 2010. In 2003, Dr. Resnick's research group was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a new programming environment, called Scratch, that enables young people to create their own interactive stories, games, animations, and simulations, and to share their creations with one another online. Much of the early use of Scratch, following its launch in 2007, took place in homes and after-school settings, but some educators began to use Scratch in their classrooms. The ScratchEd project was initiated to develop, implement, and study new strategies for professional development and collaboration among educators, so that they would be better able to support STEM learning in the context of Scratch.
In its role as evaluator, CCT worked closely with the MIT Media Lab team to develop research instruments and a protocol for assessing the development of students' computational thinking skills. This protocol will be shared with the ScratchEd online community once it has been fully developed and pilot-tested with educators using Scratch in their classes.