About this course
This course focuses on taking students through the fundamentals of Python and programming in general with the goal of preparing students for the more advanced Python classes offered at Focus Learning. Topics such as variables, data types, if statements and loops are covered. The course is concluded with a final project where students program a short video game in Python. This course can be taken by students with or without prior programming experience.
What you'll learn
By the end of this course, students will learn Python basics such as what Python and programming is and its relevance to the real world, managing files and basics of input/output, variables and data types, if statements and Boolean logic, Python list, for and while loops, basics of Processing and 2D graphics, simple 2D animations, and user interactions.
The course is broken down into 8 distinct units.
- Unit 1 Getting started (1 week): Students will be introduced to Python and the world of programming. Students will learn how to download and install Processing (the environment in which students will type their code) and write their first line of code.
- Unit 2 Basics of Python (2.5 weeks): Here students will learn about the basics of Python and core ideas that will be used throughout the course. This includes variables, print statements, input, output, basic operators, data types and data type conversions.
- Unit 3 If-statements (2 weeks): Students will learn about how programs can make decisions and change the result depending on specific conditions. We will start off with simple if-statements and work our way up to more complicated statements involving compound logic. Students will be exposed to logical operators.
- Unit 4 Python list (1.5 weeks): Here students will learn how to work with and deal with a collection of data. Students will learn what a list is and why it is useful/important.
- Unit 5 Loops (3 weeks): Here students will learn how to handle repetition efficiently in code. Students will begin with for loops and work their way up to while loops. They will learn how to write loops in code and solve complicated problems using loops. Infinite loops and good loop practices will also be discussed.
- Unit 6 Basics of Processing (2.5 weeks): This unit focuses on the usage of Processing. Here students will learn how Processing is related to Python. They will learn how to setup Processing in preparation for game development and learn how to draw simple shapes using Processing. In
- addition they will learn how to work with colors in RGB format and the coordinate system used in Processing.
- Unit 7 Advanced Processing (2.5 weeks): In this unit students will learn how to create simple animations in Processing and how user can interact with programs via the keyboard and mouse.
- Unit 8 Final Project (3 weeks): This final unit will give students a chance to use everything they have learned to program a short video game from start to finish.
Each lesson will last for 1.5 hours. Each class can be roughly broken down as follows:
- The first 5 minutes is spent waiting for students to join the meeting. The attendance and other administrative items are taken care of.
- The next 5 minutes is spent going over what was covered in the previous class and what will be covered in today’s lesson.
- The next 20 – 30 minutes is allocated to taking up last week's homework.
- The remaining 45 – 55 is spent working on new material. During this time frame, students will ask questions, discuss with other students, and answer practice problems on their own.
Materials & Homework
- Students must have access to a computer with a strong internet connection.
- A working microphone and webcam are required.