Using weather data in Scratch

In this post, I want to share an example of Scratch projects that use live weather data.

At the Raspberry Pi Clubs Conference last week, I talked about the idea of Scratch projects that use live data: projects that do something different every time you run them, based on when or where they are run.

I love this idea. It’s something I’ve talked about many times – like when I tried bringing NASA data into Scratch, or when I built Scratch extensions for different web APIs, such as Wikipedia, Twitter, and Spotify.

I think doing this brings a new perspective to Scratch. Live data can bring projects to life.

So I thought I’d share another example: this time, weather data from Open Meteo.

This simple demo project shows what is possible.

The cat’s speech bubble has a description of the current weather at the location the project is being run.

The displayed variable shows the current temperature.

The animated wind sprite shows the wind – the direction the sprites move in show the current wind direction, and the speed they move is proportional to the current wind speed.

And I’ve added Scratch blocks to get your current location from the web browser, because I assume young students will struggle to find their current latitude and longitude!

Okay, so this is more of a simple tech demo than an interesting project. But I know that if you put this in the hands of a class of students, between them they could come up with some more fun ways to use it.

And that’s the point.

I think more of us should be playing with this idea. I’d love to see more Scratch extensions that enable students to play with different types of data.

If you’d like to give it a go – that was the topic of one of my sessions at last week’s Raspberry Pi Clubs Conference. I ran a workshop that ran through everything you need to know to build your own. If you’d like to give it a try, the instructions we went through, and a recording of the workshop, are all available online.

And if you’d just like to play with my weather data demo, you can find it in my Dropbox. (You’ll need to use my copy of Scratch to try it).

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