About Building Systems from Scratch

The Building Systems from Scratch project was a collaboration between TERC and Northeastern University. The project engaged 8th grade students and their science teachers in public school districts in Massachusetts and Ohio, by interweaving game design, climate science and computational thinking practices. Students designed and created games in Scratch, a block-based, visual programming language, to teach others about climate change.

The Building Systems from Scratch curriculum materials and professional development sessions are now available for download.

TERC Staff

Gillian Puttick, PI
Michael Cassidy

Northeastern University Staff

Casper Harteveld, co-PI
Giovanni Troiano

Other contributors

Eli Tucker-Raymond, Boston University, co-PI
Gillian Smith, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, co-PI
Amy Hoover, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Jackie Barnes, Community Day School


Gregorio Robles
Jesús Moreno-León
Dylan Schouten
Borna Fatehi
Erinc Argimak
Qinyu Chen

About TERC

TERC is a nonprofit made up of teams of math and science education and research experts dedicated to innovation and creative problem solving. At the frontier of theory and practice, TERC’s work encompasses research, content and curriculum development, technology innovation, professional development, and program evaluation. TERC has a passion for social justice and strives to create level playing fields for all learners, reaching more than three million students every year. 

To learn more, please visit www.terc.edu.

About Northeastern University

The strength of a Northeastern education is experiential learning—it enables you to explore your path, find your passion, and acquire the skills and knowledge that prepare you for a lifetime of success.

You can find TERC’s Privacy Policies here.


I was really pleased [with identifying experts]. It allowed some of these students, who have never been seen as an expert maybe ever, to suddenly be relied upon in the classroom, and to watch their self-esteem blossom. We’re talking about students who schools worry about, kids who are loners, who don’t necessarily speak out in class."

– Ms. F, Teacher