If you want to create a 3D model, you’ll probably either use a graphical CAD tool or a programming-based tool (like OpenSCAD). Although BeetleBlocks is graphical, it is more akin to OpenSCAD than a graphical CAD program. That’s because BeetleBlocks is–more or less–Scratch for 3D modeling.

Scratch is the graphical block-structured language developed by MIT for teaching kids to program. You may have seen Lego robots programmed with similar blocks as well as Android App Inventor. In this incarnation, the blocks control a virtual robot (the beetle) that can extrude a tube behind it as it moves. The beetle is reminiscent of the Logo turtle except the beetle moves in three dimensions. The system is actually closer to Snap, which is a reimplementation of Scratch that allows custom blocks.


“Computational thinking has received considerable attention over the past several years, but there are many perspectives on what computational thinking entails. We are interested in the ways that design-based learning activities — in particular, programming interactive media — support the development of computational thinking in young people. This site and its collection of instruments are designed for K-12 educators and researchers interested in supporting and assessing the development of computational thinking through programming. “

Sniff – A (next) programming language for Scratchers… on Arduino and Pi

Sniff is a “Scratch-like” programming language that’s designed to help Scratchers move gently from Scratch to more conventional languages. They can start writing programs, without having to learn a new language because Sniff is based on Scratch. They learn a little more about variables, compiling, syntax errors (!), and they can have fun controlling real hardware while they’re doing it.

S4A is a Scratch modification that supports simple programming of the Arduino


S4A is a Scratch modification that supports simple programming of the Arduino open source hardware platform. It provides new blocks for managing sensors and actuators connected to Arduino. There is also a sensor report board similar to the PicoBoard.

It has been created to attract people to the programming world. The goal is also to provide a high level interface to Arduino programmers with functionalities such as interacting with a set of boards through user events.

New version of Snap – visual, drag-and-drop programming language


Snap (formerly BYOB) is a visual, drag-and-drop programming language. It is an extended reimplementation of Scratch (a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab) that allows you to Build Your Own Blocks. It also features first class lists, first class procedures, and continuations. These added capabilities make it suitable for a serious introduction to computer science for high school or college students.