[Edu-sig] For classroom use...

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Fri Feb 9 20:55:04 CET 2007

On 2/9/07, Vern Ceder <vceder at canterburyschool.org> wrote:
> kirby urner wrote:
> >
> > Here's some field tested code
> I guess I'm kind of curious as to what you mean by "field tested". The
> 'field' part I get, of course. But "tested" how? Or I guess I mean "what
> was the test, and how were the results judged?", if that makes sense...

Fair question.  In this case of coupler.py, my field tester is a
welder-geometer in New Zealand who got it working and then
came back with a VRML world on the same subject.

He's studying Python on his own, using Zelle's book, which
just arrived.

Here're a couple of recent exchanges from a public archive
on Yahoo!:


> Yes, stickworks.py and coupler.py should both go in site-packages,
> but then VPython needs to be installed as well. All you get from
> Coupler at the moment is a red and green network of edges,
> centered around the XYZ origin, the axes in blue.
> Kirby

Hi Kirby:
I have Vpython and with stickworks.py was able to run coupler.py.
I did a SpringDAnce VRML of 8 mites with each corner on a cube




Re: Drafting another storyboard

> That's trully excellent. So that's a Coupler then, what you did.

I was hoping you would like it. I thought a visual model of what
you were programming would help

> Each MITE is two blue-yellow arms holding a purple, green spine.


> Same volume as a tetrahedron, inscribed as face diags of that green
> 2-frequency cube.


> What you may have done already (if so, please link?) or might
> want to do, is said 8 mites each subdivided into two As (left
> and right) plus one B (left or right).

is this what you mean?


my new Python book arrived...Python Programming (an introduction
to Computer Science) by John Zelle...

sw dharmraj


> is this what you mean?
> http://members.westnet.com.au/dharmraj/vrml/coupler.wrl

Yes, exactly! I'll add that as a link as well, to coupler.py

> my new Python book arrived...Python Programming (an introduction
> to Computer Science) by John Zelle...
> cheers,
> sw dharmraj

That's probably the best published book for starting out with
Python. Later, maybe check the free online Dive Into Python
tutorial, also published by Apress if you want hardcopy.



BTW, I'm not questioning the use VPython by any means - I think its got
> great potential as a way to explore programming.
> Cheers,
> Vern

Yes, and to explore geometry, like Arthur was doing with Pygeo.

As far as measuring student success, it's what they're able to code
themselves, using pre-existing code as a basis, that I go by.  Each student
has Python + VPython + various modules.  They save code from week
to week and gradually build up a portfolio.  They show off their creations
when the parents come to pick them up. I asked one of my students to
send me his source code for the 3-frequency tetrahedron but he never

The class itself is written up in my blog, complete with digicam shots
of some of the whiteboard content.  I'm able to fish up some of that
content with the following query:


You'll find at least one of my worksheets (PDF) used with 8th graders in
school here:


But I don't publish actual student responses, which would be a clearer
measure of their level of comprehension.

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