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{ "category": "PyCon US 2011", "language": "English", "slug": "pycon-2011--python-and-robots--teaching-programmi", "speakers": [ "Vern Ceder" ], "tags": [ "highschool", "pycon", "pycon2011", "robots", "teaching" ], "id": 413, "state": 1, "title": "Python and Robots: Teaching Programming in High School", "summary": "", "description": "Python and Robots: Teaching Programming in High School\n\nPresented by Vern Ceder\n\nCombining Python with inexpensive robots is a very effective way of teaching\nprogramming at the middle and high school levels. Since Python is easy to\nunderstand a constructivist approach is possible - students learn by creating\nand running simple programs, observing the results, and then modifying their\ncode to fix bugs and add functionality.\n\nAbstract\n\nThe approach suggested in this talk is partly based upon that developed at the\nInstitute for Personal Robots in Education\n([]( by staff\nfrom Georgia Tech and Bryn Mawr, combined with my own experiences teaching\nprogramming with Python as described in my talk \"Goodbye, Hello World:\nRethinking Teaching with Python\", PyCon 2007, and my subsequent talks at NECC.\n\nBecause students are able to see what their code is doing and because Python\nis easy to understand, students can explore simple programming concepts,\nlearning features as they need them. This approach increases both student\nengagement and retention. It also seems that this approach is more appealing\nto girls than a more traditional programming class.\n\nI'll illustrate my talk with samples of code created by students and video of\nthe students/robots in action.\n\nOutline\n\nIntroduction - school background, course structure, origin of approach\n\nHardware and computer setup used\n\nInitial exercises and first projects\n\n * Control of robot \n * Program as sequence of commands \n * Basic programming concepts - looping, branching, functions \n\nAdvanced projects\n\n * obstacle detection \n * image processing \n * simple AI approaches \n\nPitfalls and strategies for using robots\n\nQuestions and Suggestions\n\n", "quality_notes": "", "copyright_text": "Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0", "embed": "", "thumbnail_url": "", "duration": null, "video_ogv_length": 258289243, "video_ogv_url": null, "video_ogv_download_only": false, "video_mp4_length": null, "video_mp4_url": "", "video_mp4_download_only": false, "video_webm_length": null, "video_webm_url": null, "video_webm_download_only": false, "video_flv_length": null, "video_flv_url": null, "video_flv_download_only": false, "source_url": "", "whiteboard": "", "recorded": "2011-03-11", "added": "2012-02-23T04:20:00", "updated": "2014-04-08T20:28:28.014" }