Teaching python (programming) to children

Laura Creighton lac at strakt.com
Tue Nov 6 14:17:17 CET 2001


When my younger brother was 6 ot 7 years old, he and a friend wrote a
BASIC program that was the hit of his school.  He interviewed the
other children in the neighbourhood and got other language translations 
for sentences such as ``You smell like a fart.'' and ``You peed in your 
shoe.'' Then children would queue up for hours in order to be insulted.
They could then guess the language they were being insulted in, and
if they were wrong they got _more_ insults.  They could finally
ask for a translation into the language of their choice.  Some languages, 
they found out, don't _have_ a noun for fart, as I recall, only a verb.
Many interesting things about languages were learned.

As I recall he and his freind laboured mightily for months on this
project.  I am not sure if his school ever found out about it. It was
_the_ _secret_ project.   A mathematical ability that was unsure
what division was proved to be no barrier.  Thinking back on it now,
I am struck by how much easier he would have had it if he had a decent
exception mechanism.

Laura Creighton





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