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Making Faces with the Scratch Education Collaborative (SEC)

Making Faces with the Scratch Education Collaborative (SEC)

Part 1: Making Faces

Ryoko and I had the pleasure of collaborating with the Scratch Education Collaborative, a group of educators from 41 different organizations committed to supporting learners from historically marginalized communities in their development of confidence in creative computing. Our goal was to provide a hands-on tinkering experience with an eye for multiple pathways for projects and how an analog activity can be extended with computation. We chose to facilitate Making Faces, an activity inspired by the artwork of Hanoch Piven, and ask participants to bring their faces to life using Scratch. We asked participants to bring objects of significance to the workshop as materials for making their faces. The results were truly delightful. We learned so much about our participants through the objects they selected and the stories they shared.

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Hoop Earrings and Beads

“I used some of my unfinished beaded jewelry projects to represent my locs and rolls of decorative tape to represent the bantu knots that I’ve been wearing in my latest hairstyle. Hoop earrings for eyes because I never leave home without my hoops, my NSBE Jr. pin for my nose, and a laser cut name tag from my old maker space job.  I used one of my poetry notebooks from college as the backdrop for my face :-).” -Dania


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Resistance Band and Roller

“After trying to build a face with cat toys (which were promptly taken back by the cat), I made a face out of equipment I had in my home gym.” -Will


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Beanbag Seat and Paper Box

“This face is made in my classroom, I used a sewing machine for the nose because I’m an avid sewer and prior to the pandemic did afterschool sewing. The mouth is made of photos of my family that hang in the room my left eye is the mixed paper box which is used for my students projects. The other eye is made of a beanbag seat that I made for my room and is part of the flexibility in my room. The iris is made of a word wall word in Spanish because I’m a world language teacher.” -Jen Lee

We saw quite a range in projects created and a diversity of ideas and could identify some trends across their creations, including:

  • Playing with Scale: teeny tiny portraits to carpet-sized
  • Symbolism: objects that have multiple meanings (a button mouth that represents being quiet)
  • Importance of Color: for hair, eyes, and key details
  • Expression: we saw many smiling faces alongside ones that conveyed complex emotions like concern, shyness, and confusion

There were so many incredible faces created during these workshops, here are a few more of the faces made by SEC educators

Part 2: Animating Faces

Next, we brought our faces to life using Scratch! There are other ways to animate a photo, including using stop motion animation (we like using Stop Motion Studio) or making a Two Frame Animation. We invited educators to bring their add liveliness to their faces using Scratch sprites, effect blocks, and other tools available, and then to share their projects in Scratch Studios (1 and 2).

For more about Making Faces, check out our project page on the activity and share yours using the hashtag #MakingFaces.