Photograph taken by on Thursday, February 07, 2013
X-Day Introduction to Programming

X-Day Introduction to Programming

At WCA they have something they call X-Day. It is one day in the third quarter where classes of various kinds are offered. These are things not generally available as part of their regular curriculum but that some students might find interesting. This year, there were classes in cooking, ballroom dancing, cake decorating, and making digital collages. There was a boot camp that was quite popular. Groups of students went to Luray Caverns, the Gettysburg Battlefield, and hiked the Billy Goat Trail below Great Falls. One group went to a local hospital and had literal front row seats (standing, actually) to various surgical procedures from knee to cardiac. I was asked if I could teach an introductory course in computer programming and had twelve students sign up.

The day went pretty well. I introduced programming at a very basic level, talking about concepts common to all languages including variables, operators, and control structures. We talked about syntax and how it varies from language to language. The students wrote some short programs to get a feel for how things work. None of them are ready to go to work as programmers at this point but they left with a decent foundation on which to build, if they so desire. And I had a fun time getting to know a few (potential) future computer scientists.

Comments are closed.