16th January 2020
3 great Python projects to start off the year
The new year is off to a flying start, with lots of young people and volunteers going #BackToDojo. If you’re looking for ideas to start off the new term, then check out these cool Python suggestions!
What is Python?
Python is a multi-purpose language with a simple and beginner-friendly syntax. It is useful for data analysis and visualisation, machine learning, AI, automations and much more. Instead of doing repetitive tasks such as moving files or working in excel spreadsheets, you can write a script in Python to do it for you! Some popular websites which use Python include Google search, Youtube and Instagram.
Many CoderDojo volunteers use Python at their clubs because of its clear readability, inbuilt debugger, and quick results. If your Ninjas already have some practice with a block-based language like Scratch, then Python is a great option to introduce them to text-based programming. Whether your Ninjas are new to Python or have tried it before, we have some great ideas below!
1. Turtle Race!
This beginner project is great fun and yields quick results — perfect for trying out over a Dojo session. With this project, young people will learn how to use loops, random numbers, and colours to create a turtle race track. It also makes a great “show-and-tell” project to finish off your session, as players can take turns to race the turtles.
2. Getting Started with GUIs
GUI (pronounced like ‘gooey’!) stands for ‘Graphical User Interface.’ This refers to the interactive visual components such as: cursors, buttons and icons, that convey information in computer software.
If your Ninjas have practiced Python before, then they can try out the project below to create two simple GUIs. As well as learning about using functions and event-driven programming, this is also a great introduction to the GUI zero module. To go a step further, young people could use these new skills to customise the user interfaces on their projects for Coolest Projects!
Learn how to add GUIs to your program!
3. Secret Agent Chat
This dastardly project allows Ninjas to send secret “unbreakable” messages to their friends! They will be introduced to some basic Cryptography concepts, and guided through creating an encryption technique known as the one-time pad. Additionally, this project is great for teaching young people about the importance of cyber security. Pretty neat!
Send encrypted messages like a Secret Agent!
Finally, if you’re looking for an extra-exciting Python project for your Ninjas, then look no further than Astro Pi! This awesome initiative has challenges to suit both beginner and more advanced coders, and is a great way to develop skills and team spirit.