Resnick is being recognized for his leadership in developing digital technologies, activities, and communities that engage young people, from all backgrounds, in playful, creative learning experiences. His Lifelong Kindergarten group developed the Scratch programming language and online community, used by tens of millions of children around the world to create and share interactive stories, games, and animations–and in the process, learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. Scratch (which spun out of MIT into the nonprofit Scratch Foundation in 2019) is free for everyone, and has been translated into more than 70 languages. Resnick’s group also co-founded the Computer Clubhouse project, an international network of 100 after-school learning centers where young people from low-income communities become more creative, capable, and confident learners by exploring, experimenting, and expressing themselves with digital technologies.
The LEGO company’s long-time connection with the Media Lab, ongoing since 1985, is rooted in the organizations’ shared commitment to a playful, interest-driven, project-based approach to learning that empowers children to become creative lifelong learners. Resnick and his research team have collaborated closely with the LEGO company on a series of robotics construction kits, including LEGO Mindstorms and LEGO WeDo. Resnick’s team is now working closely with the LEGO Foundation to support educators and children in learning through play, with a focus on communities facing challenges and inequities.