Visual Intro to Python
Powerful Visual Course with Elements of Geometry and Robotics
Python is a modern, flexible language that is easy to learn, easy to use, and has powerful libraries for data (including big data) manipulation and analysis. According to the TIOBE index, Python is the 4th most popular programming language in the world. The rise of big data has created a large demand for Python developers as data scientists, since Python can be easily integrated into web applications to carry out tasks that require machine learning, deep learning and artificial intelligence. For example: Google, Dropbox, Pinterest, Instagram and Reddit were all built with Python.
The Visual Intro to Python course is an excellent introduction to the Python programming language for complete beginners. Students learn fundamental concepts like Python code syntax, code debugging, loops, nested loops, variables, functions, conditions, Boolean expressions, and lists. All this while programming a robotic turtle which can draw geometric patterns. As a bonus, all designs can be exported as STL files for 3D printing, and as SVG files for laser cutting. Sample designs are shown on the bottom of this page. The turtle also has a LIDAR sensor which allows her to measure distance to objects which are in front of her (such sensors are used in autonomous cars). She also has a color sensor which allows her to recognize colors on the ground beneath her. These sensors allow her to avoid obstacles, navigate through unknown mazes, read bar codes, and perform a wide range of other robotics tasks. Students will program simple robotics algorithms in the second part of the course.
While the Visual Intro to Python course uses simple logic and is designed to be visual and fun, the programs are written in full Python syntax. This approach demands that students pay more attention to important details, such as colons, decimal points and parentheses. Such details sometimes cause frustration for beginners. Should you find the Visual Intro to Python course too challenging, take the Karel Coding course first.
- No prior experience is required.
- Students type code and learn proper syntax and structure from the beginning (no block programming).
- Game-based and self-paced learning form the player’s journey, including well-designed puzzles and opportunities to tackle challenges with confidence.
- All geometries can be exported as STL files for 3D printing and SVG files for laser cutting.
- Course is accompanied with an app where students can create their own projects.
- Course is aligned with Common Core Math Content and Practice Standards, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Crosscutting Concepts, Science & Engineering Practice (SEP) and Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) with an emphasis on Engineering Design, and CSTA/CSforAll Computer Science Standards.
- Algorithmic thinking and problem solving
- Python code syntax, debugging programs
- For-loop and nested loops
- Variables and functions
- Conditions and conditional statements
- Boolean values, expressions, and variables
- While-loop and Python lists
- Elements of geometry
- Robotics algorithms