Teaching Python on the Raspberry Pi 400 at the public library #Python @opensourceway

Declining COVID case numbers are bringing back community-based programming courses. Don Watkins posts on opensource.com:

After a long and tough year, I’ve been looking forward to once again sharing my love of Python and open source software with other people, especially middle and high school students. Before the pandemic, I co-wrote a grant to teach Python programming to middle school students using Raspberry Pi computers. Like many other plans, COVID-19 put mine on hold for over a year. Fortunately, vaccines and the improved health in my state, New York, have changed the dynamic.

A couple of months ago, once I became fully vaccinated, I offered to self-fund a Raspberry Pi and Python programming course in our local public library system. The Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library system accepted my proposal, and the co-central library in Olean, N.Y., offered to fund my program. The library purchased five Raspberry Pi 400 units, Micro-HDMI-to-VGA adapters, and inline power adapters, and the library system’s IT department loaned us five VGA monitors.

On what language to teach:

I like to use the turtle module to introduce Python programming. It’s always been well received, and the students love the graphics they can create while learning Python basics like variables, for loops, lists, and the importance of syntax.

At the end of the four-day course, each student received a Raspberry Pi 400 and a book explaining how to program their computer. They also got a list of free and open source software resources, a reading list of recommended books available in the library, and some open educational resources available on the web.

Read more here


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