How do I explain programming to a 12-year-old?
March 17, 2010 12:14 AM Subscribe
Looking for some resources for explaining a programming career to middle school kids.
posted by tantivy to Education (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I volunteered to speak to some local middle schoolers during a Career Day next week. The good news is that I have a morning off from work and I get 30 minutes to hang out with some young people. Cool! Unfortunately, I have no idea how to engage them regarding my job.
I'm a programmer at a software company, about a year out of college. I know enough about programming, but I know very little about the typical 8th grader. Should I talk about algorithms by having them explain how to make a peanut butter sandwich? Pose some simple discrete math puzzles? Talk about UI testing? I had programming classes at my middle school, but I'm assuming that these students probably do not.
The program that I'm volunteering with has given me some generic advice, like create discussion / come up with an activity instead of lecturing for 30 minutes. So while any advice on the situation is welcome, I'm mainly looking for what to talk about in a technical sense.