So as I have been known to I answered a call out on twitter for help with the first OSCON Kids Day. They needed someone to teach the Python class, so as I do I said sure no worries here is my credentials. I was pretty excited to partake in this event for a couple of reasons, I have always wanted to attend OSCON and this would be my first one, this would be my first time teaching kids in America, OMG I would be teaching kids to code command line Python.
I had taught people to code in Python before but this would be a new challenge for me as it was one hour and thirty children and command line. I normally teach using more graphical tools when it comes to kids. I was given a lesson plan that was written, it included making a Celsius to Fahrenheit converter and a random dice game. I looked at the content and went ok I have kids from 7 to 16 there, ok im in America I am not sure the kids would be too fussed with temperature conversion well maybe the older ones but with a 7 year old I might have to explain to them what Celsius is and why it is different etc. So I thought back to when I was a kid and went ok, how did I learn to code? I wrote command line games. So I set out to take the concepts that the lesson was trying to bestow and used the model of teaching steps to build up to creating a command line turn key game where someone slays a dragon. I also added the final output to github and do plan to grow the lesson plan.
The day came and was a success, I had 32 kids in the room and everyone took part in creating a game. At the end of the lesson I told them to take the code we just created and change the story. I was amazed to see that there was a group of children who took the initiative and created a longer game with more options. All over the day was a success and a great initiative by O’Reilly, Hats Off Team 😀
Git Hub Repo for my Kids Day Workshop
OSCON Kids Days Schedule – Portland 2014