WEMS Project Spring 2019

Wray Mills, 2019-02-21, Classes

computer science, github, raspberry pi

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Students will collaborate to design and create a group project to be placed on display.

February 21st to May 2 (9 sessions)


Lead Instructor

Chris Kefalas

Class Session Learning Objectives

Day by Day High Level Plan

Planning for 8 days. Last day can be final project wrap-up etc. if needed.


Class References

On the line Resources

On the line Presentations


Related Blog Notes


External References

Day 1

Topic - Raspberry Pi & Clouds

Class will start with students recieving a piece of paper with their login information. Using Chromebooks they will navigate to http://wems.techemstudios.com and using the proper user name and class password will log into their accounts. Once their Cloud9 workspace has loaded, they will open a Terminal and git pull. As a class we will go through the README.md and briefly discuss the plan for the next couple weeks. The remainder of class will consist of working through a couple small Python programs, running them, and making changes. This should put us in a good position for what is planned next week.

Out of Desk - Laptop In The Clouds

Moving over to the multi-purpose area we will use human repositories and paper folders to reanact the life cycle of our code as it travels through the Clouds of the Internet and into it's proper home on Github. As our code travels through the wire, at each stop we will go over the different git commands that are required to get us to the next step.


Using the Chromebooks students will log into their AWS Cloud9 editor, and start with opening a Terminal. They will issue the command cd MyFirstWebsite and press the ENTER key. Next they will type in git pull, they should spend some time quickly reading the output of that command to see if it worked correctly. One way to check if the command has been successful is by see if they have a new folder called python-exercises. If they see that folder, they are ready to type cd python-exercises into the Terminal. Finally, using the mouse they should click open the folder, and open the file called START-HERE.py.

One thing to remember

Students should leave class with a good understanding of what our beginning of class routine is, and the basic things that we do in Cloud9 like open, save, create a file. As well as how we run, and debug our Python programs.

Beginning of Class routine: - Navigate with the Chrome browser to http://wems.techemstudios.com - Find your name on the list of AUTHORIZED USERS and click the link to open your AWS Cloud9 login web page. - Type in your username and class password, then click the login button. - If the Cloud9 editor doesn't load when you click login, look for a Services button at the top of the web page, after clicking it you should see a link for Cloud 9



We are totally making some progress on AWS Cloud9, using a classroom password, and putting the Chrome web browser into incognito mode has made the beginning routine a bit quicker. Still a bit of confusion with the file manager in Cloud 9, and navigating around via the Terminal. But I'm confident with practice each week they will have no problem picking it up. Homework Assignment #1 was sent home with students, it simply asks them to make an attempt to log into their Cloud 9 Laptop in the Clouds from home. also talk to their parents about an e-mail address that we can use for Slack, our classroom code collaboration software.

Day 2

More Python Programs and Slack

Practice makes perfect and we'll practice some more simple Python programs.

Out of Desk - Laptop In The Clouds

Lot of clouds, but luckily not much rain. With a few different "stations" setup, we quickly review the different services we are using:


After the daily "startup" routine, the students will immediately follow along and practice some simple python coding concepts in Cloud9:

The kids can explore pyfiglet for some fun ASCII output.

We'll also make sure we can log into slack and create a class channel.

One thing to remember

Python is actually named after the comedy troupe Monty Python and not the snake!


Day 3

Working on mastering the basics of Python, and Cloud 9


Getting a good understanding of how to log into our accounts, how to use Cloud 9, and how to write, edit, run Python programs. Once we have done that, we will continue to explore the pyfiglit that we did last week, and practice our typing at the same time

Out of Desk Activity

None for this week

One Thing To Remember

What is your username?!?


We have made a lot of good progress in the last two classes with Cloud 9 and the Chromebooks. We are still having a tiny bit of trouble with some basics like typing, saving files, and running programs. But I think that will just take repition so they don't get alarmed when something out of the ordinary happens. Most of the students have been able to log in from home so that is awesome, since Wemmy will use Slack I am going to talk about that next time.

Just need to set up the room, I already have I think two email addresses from students who handed their homework in. I will have to revisit the Wemmy code to see what it looks like so I can help better prepare the kids for when they start messing with it.

Two of my students are working to get caught up, one of them has made major strides in the last two weeks and I am going to move her over to the laptop this week.

We had a slow start with the laptops and Cloud 9 but now that we are out of the weeds I'm confident that it will be smooth sailing from here! And they should all now feel confident going home, and logging into their Cloud 9 accounts!

Day 4


We will start with a quick introduction to Slack, and I will have on the screen the classroom Slack room that we will be using to communicate outside of class. For those students who have already handed in their emails, I will be sending out invites in class. And asking those students who haven't to make sure they have an email address for next week.

We will then get logged into our Cloud 9 work spaces and start working through some Python exercises.


Learning about Slack, and how it can help our class communicate outside of class when we have questions, or problems. After logging into our Cloud 9 accounts on the Chromebooks, and working through some Python exercises. We will work to make sure all the students have a good understanding of Python, and the ways we have learned to use it.

I will be drawing specific attention to the use of comments in our code. Some of our exercises will provide instructions with comments. Students should be able to identify comments in Python, as well as be able to create their own. When we are all working on the same file, it will be very helpful to make sure we are adding comments to our code so our classmates are better able to understand the parts of code they didn't write themselves.

Out of Desk Activity

Wemmy brain storm? Start looking over the breadboard, and the sensor, and the LED? I would allocate a max of 10 minutes for this, at the end of beginning to give us a little less screen time. We've had a lot in the last couple weeks.

One Thing To Remember

What symbol do we use to create a comment in Python?


Started off class going over Slack, and showing the kids their newly created private Slack channel that I will be inviting them to over the next week. I reminded the students who hadn't brought in an email address to make sure they have it for next class. Before class I had created a couple different Python exercises for us to go over. The three main topics we talked about today were Strings, Integers, and Variables. We didn't get as far as I had hoped, but most everyone finished the Strings exercise. We are still running into some small distractions with saving files, and getting our code typed in. But overall things are going smoothly, and the kids are getting the hang of Cloud 9. I also made sure to remind them that they can login from home and play around with their code. Every student has got the login process down pat, so that's awesome!

Day 5

We will continue working through our exercises, and making sure we are paying very very close attention to the syntax, and our code. I really want the kids to be checking their code before they run it. Also I will be taking some time to just briefly go over the debugging process, and how we can make sure that when we do have an error, we are able to understand the error messages that Python is notifying us of. The students have seen these error messages before, but I want to give them some extra attention in order to prevent them from slowing us down in the future, and getting us confused.


For class we will continue to work on our Python skills. I have choosen three main topics that I want the kids to have a good understanding of. Each of the three topics we have created a seperate Python file for, and have been typing the exercises that are displayed on the TV. Once students have finished typing in the code, they are to review it to double check for any errors, and then hit the RUN button! Next I will be having the kids focus on the output of their programs, and if there is an error, working to get it fixed! One thing that I have pointed out about the error message is that it will usually contain a line number letting you know where you should take an extra close look at.

Out of Desk Activity

One Thing To Remember

What is one of the main things we should be looking for in our error messages?