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mBlock - Arduino programming from Scratch to C++

Chris Napier, Newcastle University


mBlock ( is a free, extensible version of Scratch with blocks for connecting to and programming the Arduino ( electronics platform. We have used it successfully for robotics workshops with children from KS2 upwards. It provides an accessible introduction to physical computing using a programming environment familiar to primary schools students. It also converts Scratch programs to their equivalent in C++. Therefore, it can also be useful for transition from block based to text based programming in secondary. All with the immediacy of feedback, lessons in experimentation and debugging and engagement that are the hallmarks of physical computing.

This is a hands-on workshop that will give you the opportunity to use mBlock with Makeblock robots and enable you to explore the potential of programming with Arduinos more generally.

Relevant Key Stages: KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5

Session resource(s)

Chris Napier's biography

Chris Napier is a PhD Student within the Teaching Innovation Group here at the School of Computing. He is an active member of our Outreach team and contributes to the running of events and sessions.

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