Get Started with Physical Computing with Scratch | Boolean Girl

Course Details

Get Started with Physical Computing with Scratch

Get Started with Physical Computing with Scratch

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Interested in controlling lights and using switches to build stuff?

Did you know you can use Scratch to interact with electrical circuits you build?

Your Raspberry Pi has a row of GPIO pins in the long rectangular opening in the case. GPIO stands for General-Purpose Input/Output. You use these pins to connect programs you write to the physical world so you can make lights blink or take input from sensors.  We refer to this as physical computing.


  • Simple Circuit

    Complexity: Easy

    This project introduces circuits. All of the projects that follow use the concepts introduced here.

  • Light it up

    Complexity: Standard

    Build a circuit then write a simple Scratch program that turns a light on and off – all at the command of Scratch the cat. This entire project is done on the Raspberry Pi.

  • Use a button

    Complexity: Standard

    A button or switch is used to control the flow of electricity. A button is a type of switch that stays open (off) until it it is pressed.   A keyboard is a collection of buttons.  Each time you press a key the circuit is completed and a letter is typed.
    A light switch is an example of a switch.  It stays on or off depending on which way you set it.

  • Build a Game Controller

    Complexity: Standard

    Extend your skills by making a 4 button game controller.  Each time you press a button the program will react by moving a game character, shooting or whatever you program the button to do.
    Use the game controller to to play the games you’ve already built.

  • Quick Reaction Game

    Complexity: Standard

    Find out who has the fastest reaction time with this simple circuit and a scratch program