As the students learn the Core Concepts of programming, they are challenged to implement what they learn a coding environment. The point is to direct the students to code in higher level language than that of block programming. The platform that YWiC has chosen for this is Python. The students learn what concepts look like in the Python programming language (variables, variable types, simple data structures, etc.) and work through small programs that will help them understand the general program structure and core concepts are used. View a sample worksheet at: bit.ly/pythonprogramex
The summer of 2012 was the first time YWiC introduced Python to the students and we’ve found that, though they found it new and challenging, they also enjoyed being able to solve these problems! High school students used Python to create programs for the Forensics unit of camp. Students wrote programs to calculate a person’s height based on the length of long-bones in the body, and to calculate the angle of impact of blood spatter to determine, among other things, the origin/source of blood on a surface; this type of analysis is used in crime scene reconstruction and can be useful for inferring information from a crime scene.
Sample activity: After the students have learned about variables and loops through our Core Concepts powerpoint, challenge them to a competition of who can solve the Python problems correctly first between teams of 4 (and 5 for more complex problems)! The simple and complex versions of the game are as follows: bit.ly/guessinggame_simple and bit.ly/guessinggame_complex