• Help students and curious/creative makers everywhere discover the joys of physical computing.
• Enable educators to create engaging, high-quality STEM/STEAM learning experiences.
• Inspire a wide range of learners, especially those who do not initially see themselves as potential technologists.
• Support hands-on learning and creative problem-solving.
John Maloney creates live, highly-engaging programming systems for beginners and “casual programmers.” John was the lead developer for Scratch over its first eleven years. Before that, he worked in Dr. Alan Kay's research group, first at Apple Computer, then at Walt Disney Imagineering, where he helped create the Squeak portable Smalltalk system and Etoys, a programming system for children that was one of the inspirations for Scratch. After leaving the Scratch team in 2013, John led the creation of GP Blocks, a blocks language aimed at older students and adults, and MicroBlocks. John got his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Washington. In his free time, John plays the dulcian, the Renaissance ancestor of the modern bassoon. At MicroBlocks, he is the lead developer for both the VM and the standalone IDE, as well as a member of the Project Leadership Committee and the project representative.
Bernat Romagosa is a software engineer from Barcelona. He is the author of Snap4Arduino, the main developer of Beetle Blocks and a contributor to the Snap! programming language. He was part of the Edutec group at the Citilab for 6 years, where he worked on developing an online programming school, a social knowledge management system, different educational applications, and a bunch of Snap! modifications. As part of the SAP Young Thinkers group he now contributes to the Snap! programming language and to MicroBlocks. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and a Master's degree in Free Software. At MicroBlocks, he codes parts of the VM and the standalone IDE, and is also a member of the Project Leadership Committee.
Kathy Giori fills her desk with hardware that can be programmed using MicroBlocks. Earlier at Mozilla, while working on the WebThings Project, she championed a grant for MicroBlocks to include a "Web Things" library, so that any script could easily become an interoperable web thing, a standard for IoT devices (with the convenience of private and secure management using a WebThings Gateway). She has experience bridging open communities with industry to drive faster innovation. She is super keen on equity of access to a good (STEM) education, across the globe, which is part of what drives her strong desire to support MicroBlocks. Prior to Mozilla, she held senior roles at Arduino.org, Qualcomm Atheros, and many more. She received her bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, and her master's in EE from Stanford. When not at a computer, she can usually be found exploring the great outdoors of northern California. At MicroBlocks, she directs global partnerships and outreach, and is part of the Project Leadership Committee.
Jen Lavalle is an elementary school teacher who loves making with her students. She has been teaching for 6 years, currently serving as a K-5 Instructional Technology Specialist in the Cambridge Public Schools. Since she completed her Ed.M. in Technology, Innovation, and Education at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, Jen has worked to create powerful learning experiences for kids - whether in school as formal learners or out-of-school as informal explorers. From a curriculum developer, to a researcher, to a camp counselor, she has worn many hats in the fields of education and is most happy when she is curating flexible and powerful tools for kids to experiment with. In her spare time, Jen finds joy in color coding, labeling, cleaning, and cooking. Jen joined the MicroBlocks team to support the design of educational materials for teachers and students.
Jadga Hügle is a biologist who first came in contact with computer science while building a small connected greenhouse and was instantly hooked. Since then, she has become a live-coding enthusiast (preferably with blocks languages) and is eager to share her excitement with everyone. Jadga works for SAP’s Snap! team and develops learning materials for students, teachers and colleagues. In her spare time, when she's not volunteering in after-school computer clubs, Jadga is likely to be found outside watching birds or hiking with her friends. If not, she might also be in the basement playing pen-and-paper roleplaying or board games. At MicroBlocks, Jadga wants to invent fun and interesting IoT projects and spread the good ideas among teachers and students.
Jens Mönig is a researcher at SAP and makes interactive programming environments. He is fanatical about visual coding blocks. Jens is the architect and lead programmer, together with Brian Harvey, of UC Berkeley's “Snap! Build Your Own Blocks” programming language, used in the introductory “Beauty and Joy of Computing” curriculum. Previously Jens has worked under Alan Kay on the GP programming language together with John Maloney and Yoshiki Ohshima, helped develop Scratch for the MIT Media Lab and written enterprise software at MioSoft. Jens is a fully qualified lawyer in Germany and was an attorney, corporate counsel, and lecturer for many years, before rediscovering his love for programming through Scratch and Squeak. For leisure Jens likes guitar picking and strumming his mandolin. At MicroBlocks, he helps with development and is a member of the Project Leadership Committee.
Tom Lauwers is the founder and chief roboticist of BirdBrain Technologies, located in Pittsburgh, PA. He seeks to design educational tools that catalyze positive making, coding, and engineering learning experiences in the classroom. Tom received a Ph.D. in robotics in 2010 from Carnegie Mellon in part for his work designing the Finch robot and Hummingbird robotics kit. The Finch is a small robot designed to inspire and delight students learning computer science by providing a tangible representation of their code. The Hummingbird is a kit that allows students to create and program robots built from electronic components and craft materials. Tom resides in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood with his wife, two kids, cat, and a small army of robots. He would be an invaluable ally in the event of a robot uprising. At MicroBlocks, he is part of the Project Leadership Committee.
Amon Millner is an Assistant Professor of Computing and Innovation at the Olin College of Engineering. He directs the Extending Access to STEM Empowerment (EASE) Lab. He teaches courses, engages in research, and releases products that are guided by his mantra: make things; make a difference; make your way. Amon develops systems that lower the barrier for entry into computing to enable young people to become more empowered to express themselves, think in new ways, and address challenges in their communities. He was part of the core team that launched Scratch (with other MicroBlocks team members), co-founded Modkit, and co-invented Unruly Splats (and their blockly-based app). He is part of the Project Leadership Committee.
MicroBlocks Ambassadors help us spread the word about MicroBlocks. They reach out to makers, educators, parents, librarians, museums -- anyone interested in learning about physical computing -- to let them know how easy, fun, and engaging MicroBlocks is. Once someone is interested, MicroBlocks Ambassadors can help them get started, find resources such as Activity Cards, and share ideas with others.
We would like to thank the following people for their contributions to MicroBlocks:
The MicroBlocks IDE includes the following packages and libraries:
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