Basics of Code Sequence (Age 8-11)

Basics of Code 6
Ages 8-11

Introduction to Python 2

Prerequisites: Basics of Code 5
Please note that the focus of this course is to teach fundamental Python programming concepts through Minecraft as an example, and not to use Python to enhance gameplay in Minecraft. No prior experience with Minecaft is needed for this course.

This final course in the Basics sequence continues our exploration of computer programming with one of the world’s most popular programming languages – Python.

Students learn how a programming language grants them access to basic computer capabilities - data storage (variables), machine repetition (loops) and logical reasoning (conditionals). Through in-class coding exercises in a lab environment, they then learn first-hand how these capabilities can be harnessed to chip away at almost any generic real-world problem to yield a solution.

Students graduating from this course may choose to proceed on to our Principles sequence by taking Principles of Code Level 2.

This class is currently in session and is expected to be held again in Q1 2018.
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Frequently Asked Questions

“Coding” is synonymous with “programming”. It refers to the art of writing computer code, which are instructions that a computer can follow to solve problems. Practically every facet of technology that we encounter in our daily lives - from online banking systems to video games on our iPhone, from the GPS systems we rely on navigation to the security systems that protect our homes and offices, is created from code.

Communicating with a computer requires the use of a language, just like how communicating with another human being involves the use of a language like English or Korean. The difference is that writing code for a computer in a particular language is a little like speaking to somebody who is absolutely particular about grammar and punctuation - any deviation from a language’s rules results in a computer not being able to accept the programmed instructions. Different computer languages are well-suited to doing different tasks. For example, JavaScript is the undisputed lingua franca of the web, LISP is used extensively by NASA and in Artificial intelligence research while C and FORTRAN finds its adherents in high finance especially in the field of high frequency trading.

At Code Campus, we start with Scratch and AppInventor - drag-and-drop block-based languages developed at MIT over more than decade for the specific purpose of teaching kids how to code. Learning to code in Scratch is a little like learning how to ride a bike by first starting with a tricycle - a tricycle can get you to places but you are not likely to compete in triathlon on one. With Scratch, kids learn the basics of the thinking process behind using computers to solve problems but what they can build is largely limited to video games, music and electronic art boards that run off the Scratch platform. Regular programming languages we hear about like Python, Java and C++ have no such restrictions and can be used to build applications across any technical domain you can think of but comes at the cost of much greater complexity and are much more difficult to set up for the beginner. Scratch and AppInventor are educational tools that allow us to separate the thinking of computer science from the operational tedium of regular languages, allowing us to introduce kids to the subject at a much earlier age and increase their future aptitude for the discipline.