Our last workshop focused on using the Visual Programmer Language (VPL) to control sensors, motors, and LED's plugged into Hummingbird Boards.  While participants developed a number of very creative, interactive devices (I'll show some examples in the next post), some folks realized there were some limits to what they could build using VPL.  One group wished to build a sound activated stop light for their cafeteria.  They were able to build a light that would stay green until a certain noise level was reached, then it would turn red.  But we couldn't find a way to add an intermediate orange "Warning" light.  There might be a way to do that with VPL, but it might be simpler just to use the Scratch programming language.  Hummingbird does provide an example of a traffic light as part of their Scratch tutorial, and I'll provide a link to that site further down in this post.

Installing Scratch for the Hummingbird does require some extra steps and a couple of downloads.  The Hummingbird website provides an excellent set of instructions guiding you through the process.  In this post I'll provide a quick walk through of those sites and downloads.

The link to the tutorial is  Clicking the Installing Scratch option will take you to a detailed guide.  You'll be downloading some programs and apps.

First, you'll download the Hummingbird Helper app.  There are options for Windows, Macs, and Chromebooks.  Next you need to download and install the Scratch 2.0 Offline Editor.  You don't need to do this for ChromebooksClicking the link for the Offline Editor will take you to this page:

As you can see, you'll need to download and install Adobe Air, the Scratch Offline Editor, and (optionally) some support materials.

Once this is done, you should be able to plug in your Hummingbird board and see the Hummingbird  blocks listed in the More Blocks category.  The tutorial then gives you a good description of the new blocks, what they do, how they work, as well as several example projects for downloading.  There is also a video showing some student-created projects using Hummingbird Boards and Scratch.

The Scratch-Hummingbird Traffic Light program is one of the examples included in the Birdbrain Scratch Zip file.  Clicking on the link will download the file.