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Introducing kids to computational thinking with Python #Python #Education #Programming #Makerspace #Library @QatalystGoss @opensourceway

image credit: opensource.com
image credit: opensource.com

Via Don Watkins, opensource.com, coding program gives low-income students the skills, confidence, and knowledge to break free from economic and societal disadvantages.

When the Parkman Branch of the Detroit Public Library was flooded with bored children taking up all the computers during summer break, the library saw it not as a problem, rather an opportunity. They started a coding club, the Parkman Coders, led by Qumisha Goss (Twitter @QatalystGoss), a librarian who is leveraging the power of Python to introduce disadvantaged children to computational thinking.

When she started the Parkman Coders program about four years ago, “Q” (as she is known) didn’t know much about coding. Since then, she’s become a specialist in library instruction and technology and a certified Raspberry Pi instructor.

The program began by using Scratch, but the students got bored with the block coding interface. Q says, “I knew we need to make a change to something that was still beginner friendly, but that would be more challenging for them to continue to hold their attention.” At this point, she started teaching them Python.

She began to learn Python by reading books like Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science and Python for Kids. She also recommends Automate the Boring Stuff with Python and Lauren Ipsum: A Story about Computer Science and Other Improbable Things.

Q went about setting up a makerspace in the library, using Raspberry Pi computers.

Read how the makerspace and Python are helping the students via the article on opensource.com.


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