Recently, I was trying to help a High School student with their AP computer science course. It is unfortunate that the curriculum uses Java as the programming language and the textbook chosen is as dry as it can be. No wonder a large number of High School kids are turned off. Almost all computer programming books follow the same basic pattern. Start with chapter on variables. Move to conditionals, loops, and graduate to functions and classes. All Theory and no fun at all. None. Examples make no sense and do not reinforce any concepts. You may be able to type programs on the computer but have no clue why you need variables or what conditionals are used for.
Having mentored at local Girls Who Code club, I quickly learned teaching kids programming needs a completely different approach. If you are intrigued by programming, you will suffer thru the dry chapters, but that approach does not work for most people.
To help kids, and anyone interested in learning programming, HackShops.org built a programmable robot. HackShops.org sincerely believes that a hands-on approach, learn-by-doing is the best way to learn the core concepts of programming. HackShops.org has successfully used these robots to introduce middle-school kids to programming and it has been very successful.
You can order one for yourself from Gumroad .
The pre-built kit comes with everything you need to get started. Just add a Raspberry-Pi, a powerpack to power the Pi and a 9V battery to power the motors and you are off to the races.
In subsequent posts, I'll walk you through setting up the robot and how to program it. Stay tuned!