Grades 6-8

Introduction to Computer Programming for Sci & Engineering

Overview

This year-long course is designed to introduce students to programming in a manner that is non-intimidating and shows that programming can be an extremely fun, rewarding and practical skill. The course is designed for students with no programming experience and will include use of our 3D printer.

Course Structure

The course will be roughly structured as follows:

Part I: The initial part of the course will use simple puzzles and practical challenges to illustrate the use of several fundamental programming concepts, including:
•    Boolean logic
•    IF / THEN / ELSE statements
•    FOR / WHILE loops
•    Basic data structures: lists, arrays, scalars, strings
•    Recursion
•    Functions
•    Objects

Part II: Armed with knowledge of fundamental programming concepts, students will individually or in teams complete a project based on something that interests and excites them. Examples might include:
•    A game
•    A website
•    A mobile app
•    A musical or artistic creation

Class Sessions / Assignments
Students will work individually or in small groups through interactive exercises during class sessions – there will be minimal lectures. The instructors will lead discussions as well as provide guidance, supervision and hints, but the students will learn primarily by doing. 

The class will be designed to inspire students and provide them with a basic toolset for further exploring concepts on their own. The course material will be tailored according to the students’ interests and designed to be challenging and fun but not intimidating. Although each class will have assignments – it is expected that students will find them enjoyable.

The primary language used will be Python.