Introduction to Python 2
No prior experience with Minecraft is needed for this course, though programming experience equivalent to having taken our Basics of Code: Level 5 course is required. 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.
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 more advanced offerings by next taking Principles of Code Level 2.
“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.
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.