We are considering using Scratch in 2nd grade through high school. Currently we teach Visual Basic to all high schoolers as part of an integrated Math/Science/Technology curriculum. The major drawback to using Scratch in the upper grades is the lack of some of the high school math functions. Do other feel the lack? I assume it that they would be easy add-ons.
See my RPN calculator for trig functions and sqrt.
It *would* be a lot faster (and the functions could be used in games) if the functions were built in.
I compute the sine and cosine in my mathlib project. I use the Taylor polynomial to approximate the value. It's a very accurate method but Scratch cuts the value down to one decimal place. Kevin's calculator moves a sprite to the angle you want to use, travels 1 unit and then gives the x for cos and y for sin, effectively going to a coordinate on the unit circle. I thought that was a really cool method of doing it. However, I would suggest having high schoolers create their own math functions.
Actually, scratch computes to (reasonably) high precision, it just doesn't display to high precision. (It also has extremely buggy display of very large numbers.)
You could use something like my print_decimal routine to print the numbers actually computed:
Using the sprites to get atan does have limited accuracy on the squeak implementation, which foolishly rounds direction.