Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Some Simple Early Programming Projects

If you are not on Twitter you may be missing a lot of good things. For example, the other day Kelly Lougheed (@kellylougheed ) tweeted out a bunch of simple labs that only require user input and mathematical operations. I have copied them below because I want to be able to find them again later.

I’ve used unit conversion for years but it gets old. Fahrenheit to Celsius, miles to kilometers, grams to tons, you get the idea. It gets boring. Kelly has some great ideas. There is an idea from Neil Plotnick (@NeilPlotnick)  below Kelly’s ideas.

Have any more? Add them to the comments for future readers! And be sure to follow @kellylougheed and @NeilPlotnick on Twitter.

Kelly Lougheed (@kellylougheed )

Programming activities that involve ONLY user input and mathematical operations:

  • Program to calculate the tip
  • Program to calculate cost per person when dining out
  • Program to convert units (made-up units like Harry Potter currency okay) What else?

Also just wrote this silly lab where the user can input their age and be told their future in 10/20/30 years ("When you are X years old, you will retire to a desert island", etc.)

0.3 Fortune Teller Lab

Fortune Teller Lab Directions: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Have the user type in their age, and tell them their future at various ages (which you calculate by adding years to their current…


And for extensions, I love little math challenges that involve Ss printing out the result of mathematical expressions (getting practice with operators!). For example, there is the Four 4's Challenge, and also this 1996 Challenge:

0.3 1996 Lab

1996 Lab Directions: Use the numerals 1, 9, 9 and 6 exactly in that order to make a mathematical expression that prints the following numbers: 28, 32, 35, 38, 72, 73, 76, 77, 100 and 1000. You can…


Neil Plotnick replying to @kellylougheed

I have my students code algebra equations like the distance formula. Also stuff for geometry such as area and volume measurements. Ohms law for physics. Ideal gas laws in chemistry.

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