Learning graphical programming: an evaluation of KidSim[TM]

Gilmore, D. J. Pheasey, K. Underwood, J. & Underwood, G.     Proceedings of IFIP INTERACT'95: Human-Computer Interaction 1995 p.145-150

We studied 56 children, generally working in groups of 2-3, using KidSim for between 2-12 hours, over a period of between 2 days and 3 weeks. The results show that children of this age can readily learn to master the programming environment, and that they greatly enjoy using the system. Indeed, in most cases it clearly fired their imaginations. However, questions remain about the level of programming abstractions that they were able to understand.

From Allen Cypher's Stagecast Creator bibliography ...
"This paper, which studied an early version of KidSim, was the first to call attention to the "animation problem". Without proper instruction, children do not understand that KidSim enables them to create simulations, rather than animations. To overcome this problem, the paper offers three design changes, which have all been incorporated into later versions of the program. The paper also mentions KidSim's lack of debugging support, and extensive debugging features have since been added to the program. 
However, the concept of "animation vs. simulation" is still a problem with Creator, and we feel that it needs to be taught explicitly to students. Dr. Gerald Balzano at the University of California, San Diego, is developing course material for teaching Creator to students that addresses this issue."