Well I am doing it again and teaching a beginning programming course to a set of high school students. I did this 5 years ago when my son was the correct age (see my BouncingBalls post), and I started doing it again last year as part of TEALS effort. This year as part of Prime Factor Programming Classes I will be doing an 8 week course for 9th and 10th graders every Thursdays, starting Oct 2 6:30PM for 90 min at Interlake High School in Bellevue WA. The goal is to get them writing programs that they think are cool as quickly as possible. I am using pygame as a GUI platform and by end of the 8 weeks I should have them making a variety of simple games (life, pong, breakout, concentration). If enough students want it, we will continue with more advanced things in the spring. I have always loved programming, and I am happy when I can pass that enthusiasm on to the next generation of programmers.
But the real business of this blog entry to publish the class materials. These materials contain links that contain step by step instructions for installing the software needed (I just walked though it, complete with screenshots), a set of ‘cheat sheets for each lesson (enough that you can probably follow along), as well as at programming assignments/exercises (they are incomplete at this point, but not for long). This is certainly useful for my students (I will send them links to them directly, but it is also nice that is ‘findable’ via web search), but it could also be useful for others who want a ‘crash course’ in python, or want to teach it to others (finding really good assignments is the key, and I have given it some thought.
So…. Mission accomplished. The class materials link is now discoverable via my blog, so I guess my students only have to remember my name to find their materials.
P.S:If you happen to live nearby and have a 9th or 10th grader interested in programming there are still room for a couple more (but only a couple more) students. Look over the class materials to decide if it is interesting, and contact the Prime Factor Programming Classes if you are interested.