[Edu-sig] Starting Python

adam adam at monkeez.org
Fri Jan 27 08:03:19 CET 2006


Catherine,

> Adam
>
> I'm an old COBOL programmer/analyst that have moved on to other areas over
> time.   I'm trying to get my 12 year old interested in computers instead
> of
> just playing games.  I've gone through a number of the tutorials available
> on the internet but haven't come up with suitable examples that would be
> suitable for a 12 year old to try.  He can enter the instruction in some
> of
> the tutorials but he can't comprehend how he might use python.  Have you
> come across any simple exercises for kids.
>
> Catherine

The children started off interested in just playing games.  I didn't think
this would lead to a great learning experience, so I offered them the
chance of making their own games. As I only have a very limited experience
of Pygame, I thought we would look at the demos that come with Pygame
(it's a separate download to Pygame, but requires Pygame). I had a hunch
that if we changed some graphics and sounds, Pygame would cope pretty well
with it, which it did. I took a photo of a boy's head and replaced that
for the chimp. They thought this was hilarious. We started to look for
other areas where we could 'adapt' the game. We replaced the one boy's
head for the groups (in one long time) and then recorded them shouting
"ouch!". This enthused them even more. We had to find out how to change
the screen size and colour for these new graphics. From that, some want to
write their own mini-game, which has meant we've needed to start learning
Python.

The children valued seeing the source code and being able to adapt it.
They now want to add their own.

This is just the experience we went through - it might work for your
children, or might not.

Apologies if this is a rambling post, but it is early here.

Adam



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