Meet the Instructor: Lori Hunt

Intro to Programming Using Python

Lori has decades of experience teaching computer science at the high school level and is passionate about helping more students to develop skills in computer programming and design.

Lori has worked with the AP Board on computer science courses and has written curriculum and content for the International Academy of Science. She has also collaborated on textbooks with college professors. She continues to challenge herself by sharpening her own computer science knowledge at universities such as MIT, University of San Jose, UW–Madison and Marquette and through national conferences funded by the National Science Foundation and CSTA. With all of this experience, Lori still loves to find new and engaging ways to share her passion for computer science with her students.

We asked Lori to share a little more about her plan for this course and what students can expect from this opportunity.

1. Why do you enjoy teaching programming/coding?
I love seeing students fall in love with programming like I did! It is profound to see the increased confidence that students obtain through writing awesome programs. I also appreciate the boundless creativity that students have when they are writing code.

2. What is a rough outline of the course (beginning, middle, and end)?
In this course, we will use the language of Python to introduce many programming concepts. We are going to start with python turtles to learn some commands and what functions are in programming. We will also cover input, output, strings, lists, looping, and selection statements. Students will write several programs during the 9 week course.

3. Why are you choosing to teach the fundamentals of Python specifically? What’s cool about this programming language?
Python is a great first language to learn because it is relatively easy to understand and use. We can do some really cool things with turtle graphics right away, which is difficult with other languages.

4. What are some of the exciting things students will do and/or learn throughout the course? What skills can they expect to leave with?
They will write their own functions to create pictures. They will also write a game like hangman and/or mastermind (or some other game they might be interested in) by the end of the 6th week. They will leave with a solid understanding of what coding is, how to write programs, and a thirst for more!

5. How would you encourage students who are hesitant to try coding to sign up for the course? In other words, what would you say to someone intimidated by coding to give it a chance?
Coding is fun and creative. No experience is necessary for this course, and I am happy to meet students where they are at and help them create something unique and interesting to them.