The Capstone Pathway: Data course teaches Python through 15 coding lessons and 5 capstone projects. Capstone projects are assigned after every three lessons to review coding concepts and each one offers a choice of topics aligned to 7th grade math & science.
In this capstone project, students build an interactive food web using click events to show the user what would happen to an organism's population when another population changes size.
In this capstone project, students create a dynamic landscape by using loops and randomly generated shapes; then they calculate the total area of these shapes.
In this capstone project, students build a simulation for the genetic outcomes in offspring of potential parents by using randomly generated values in a Punnett square model.
In this capstone project, students create an interactive game that uses if-statements, lists, loops, and user input to have the player try to guess his or her favorite Codesters sprite.
Each project-based lesson has around 20 activities and its divided into 3 phases: Build, Modify, and Create. The activities in the Build and Modify phases are automatically graded, including debugging and assessment activities. The capstone Create project for each lesson is graded by the teacher using a rubric provided by Codesters.
Students start by building an example project, through which they develop key coding skills. Debugging activities help students learn specific rules about syntax and the structure of code. Assessments include multiple choice questions and journal responses.
Once students have built their example project they are asked to customize the program to solidify their understanding and demonstrate proficiency with the skills they learned.
Students create a new project from scratch that uses the same core skills skills they developed in the example project. This capstone project for each lesson creates opportunities for students to deepen their understanding and to demonstrate mastery of coding topics.
With Codesters, students learn to code by creating fun and engaging projects. Each lesson is structured as a project for students to build. And each project introduces students to new coding topics and concepts while reinforcing ones they have already learned. For example, in Rock Paper Scissors students learn to use if-statements to compare their choice to the computer's random choice and decide who wins. Students are motivated to persevere through learning to code in order to create the project they want to build. And they have fun while in the process.
Teachers play a critical role in helping students learn to code with Codesters. Teachers monitor each student's progress on their dashboard in order to see which students are struggling and where. They can even drill down to see the actual code a student submitted that did not receive full points. This helps the teacher stay on top of students' learning and guide them to becoming expert coders.
As students follow the instructions in the Build and Modify phases of the project-based lesson, they receive immediate feedback about mistakes they might be making. This feedback is both in the student-friendly error messages and the hints and suggestions built into the automatic scoring system. Immediate feedback helps students to understand and correct their mistakes and smoothes the path to learning to code.