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By Rose Hopkins Naperville North High School, Naperville, IL Alice and Python A Great Combination for a Pre-AP Class Picture created by Kevin Doherty Naperville.

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Presentation on theme: "By Rose Hopkins Naperville North High School, Naperville, IL Alice and Python A Great Combination for a Pre-AP Class Picture created by Kevin Doherty Naperville."— Presentation transcript:

1 by Rose Hopkins Naperville North High School, Naperville, IL Alice and Python A Great Combination for a Pre-AP Class Picture created by Kevin Doherty Naperville North HS

2 Naperville North High School western suburb of Chicago around 3,000 students part of a unit school district with another high school (middle schools and elementary schools feeding into it) average ACT score of school is 25.4 (out of 36, IL avg around 20-21) graduation rate is over 98% 74% white, 5% black, 4% Hispanic, 16% Asian

3 Programming Courses Programming 1 (one semester) Programming 2 (one semester) AP Computer Programming--Java (prerequisite is at least Programming 1) Enrollment this year: Programming 1—two classes first semester, one class second semester (74 students total) Programming 2—one class second semester (17 students) AP Computer Programming usually in the 20s

4 Alice and Python together this year previously taught True Basic for beginning programming classes curriculum jointly approved by both schools agreed to use both Alice and Python but had some flexibility I used 4-5 weeks of Alice at the beginning of semester and did a few days of Alice events later (Programming 1) Alice with mostly Python for Programming 2

5 What is Python? free easy-to-use programming language with an IDE called IDLE, see creator is Guido van Rossum, who works for Google (one-third of Google’s code is in Python) can be object-oriented but didn’t use this until Programming 2 perfect “transition” language to Java (AP) – many similarities, only easier (less syntax)

6 Programming 1 Schedule Alice getting used to programming & terminology conditions (if/else) loops--“loop” (look at “complicated version”) &“while” Python getting used to Python-specific environment revisiting conditions and loops tuples and lists (array lists) writing functions Alice events

7 Programming 2 Schedule (optional course for AP) Alice lists ->“For all in order” and “For all together” parameters Python file I/O exceptions objects and writing classes GUI (events) gaming Alice or Python final project

8 Advantages to these languages for a pre-AP class looping the same as in Java (index starting at 0) Python’s “for ___ in ___” and Alice’s “for all in order” like Java’s “for each” loop previously learned concepts will help them understand: lists (ArrayList) events objects/properties/methods in Java have students learn recursion in Alice when doing recursion unit in Java (it’s easier!!)

9 Benefits to having both reinforces programming concepts by seeing them in two languages allows students to work in Alice when they have completed the Python lab assignments (good way to use their free time!) allows some students to achieve at a higher level in Alice, some achieve higher level in Python students seem happy with the combination

10 Participated in Spirit Surprising Possibilities Imagined and Realized through Information Technology See SPIRIT website: Supported by a $1.26M grant from the National Science Foundation, #DRL , 1/08-12/10 Attract more people to IT, especially women Intervention programs for HS teachers, HS counselors, and HS students

11 What are the goals of Spirit? Correct negative perceptions about IT IT skills relevant to a broad range of disciplines IT can benefit society IT can be fun, welcoming, interesting Both men and women can have successful careers in IT Let participants try out and create many interesting & useful applications of IT Give guidance on what to do now to have a successful career in IT

12 Spirit continues this summer and next … 2-week teacher institute Week 1—Learn Alice and develop lesson plans Week 2 Practice instructing students Participate in other activities to show IT's relevance to and support of STEM disciplines 1-week program for counselors (during week 2 above) 1-week summer camp for students (during week 2 above) SPIRIT contact: Alka Harriger Phone:


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