Coding Classes

Learn to code! We’ve developed the following lesson plan to provide you with a flavour of the power of coding in an accessible and engaging way.

Introduction to Programming

       Introduction to the concept of programming and getting to know the environment

       Use of command prompt to make simple calculations with numbers first and then variables

       Write simple functions to implement physics formulas, like kinetic energy and force

       Introduction of the “if structure” by wrong input examples, such as negative mass and negative time values

       Extension to the more complex “if structure” including “elseif” to implement more than 2 options that are always mutually exclusive, that is, always only one is satisfied

       Introduction of matrices in octave: call the simple functions for a range of numbers, eg. Call the kinetic energy function for 1000 velocity values

       Introduction of the “for loop”

       Simple algorithms using the “for loop” to calculate the minimum, the maximum and the average of an one-dimensional matrix

       Extend to two-dimensional matrices

       Introduction to the concept of a counter that counts for example the zeros in a a matrix

       Algorithm to fill diagonal matrix, to check if a matrix is diagonal and symmetrical (use of logical flags)

Practical part (60 points)

  1. Write a function that takes as input the mass and the velocity of a moving object and  calculates its kinetic energy (do not check for negative mass) (7 points)
  2. Write a script to call the above function for two different objects, that is, two different masses, and velocities ranging from 1 to 1000 (10 points)
  3. Plot the kinetic energy across the velocity for both objects on the same figure (3 points)
  4. Write a function that:
    1. asks the user of the number of rows and columns (the same number for rows and columns, so just one number) (3 points)
    2. checks if the number is positive. If yes, it continues with parts c, d and e. If not, it prints an error message (3 points)
  5.  Creates a random matrix with the dimensions given at part a. (2 points)
    1. Calculates the average of the matrix elements that are on the diagonal (10 points)
    2. Prints the result in the command window in a user-friendly message (2 points)
  6. Write a function that takes as input an one-dimensional matrix and
    1. Calculates the maximum value in the matrix (8 points)
    2. Calculates the position of the maximum value (7 points)
    3. Prints the maximum value and its position in the command window in a user-friendly message (5 points)

Useful Links

Online coding lessons

Provides bite-size coding hints and tips

University of Cambridge’s OER4Schools Professional Learning Resource

Provides comprehensive online coding education videos in African communities


SRA Coding-related Presentations at UNESCO Conferences

Using mobile technology to engage African women in science and mathematics education: Outcomes of a trial with Raspberry Pi – UNESCO Mobile Learning Week, 2015

International Forum on ICT and Education 2030 – UNESCO, 2017


Above: Beneficiaries of SRA’s coding classes

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