The Artemis Project is a five-week summer program directed by undergraduate women at Boston University. Founded in 1996 at Brown University, Artemis introduces rising 9th grade girls to computer science, targeting them at the critical age when the disparity between males and females in the sciences becomes most pronounced.
In summer 2011, the Artemis curriculum covered Python basics. The students were introduced to control structures by programming simple effects on ColorWall, a graphical representation of an 8x8 grid. The colorful model promoted creativity; however, contrary to what we believed, it did not provide an intuitive understanding of control structures. Instead, we found that simple counting exercises were more effective.
Our poster is meant to encourage discussions on intuitive ways to introduce programming as well as interesting Python projects for novice programmers. We also hope to share the lessons we learned in our teaching experience.