I have been mentoring the students at the first year programming club of KCG College of Technology for about 3 months now. These students are in their first semester at the college. We started by learning basic Python programming, built simple games using PyGameZero and also worked on building desktop applications using PySimpleGUI. We used to meet once a week in a 2-hour session to discuss and learn new topics. After working on these for a while, we thought we should try to use these learnings to build some useful apps. So we did a Build2Learn event exclusively for the members of the first year programming club at KCG.
We started the Build2Learn discussion around mid of Jan, 2021. Initially, I had a question if the students would be able to come up with a project idea. They are beginner programmers and may not have exposure to many projects. But later, decided to give it a try and let them come up with their own projects. That turned out to be the best. They came up with wonderful project ideas. Every team competed to make sure that their projects were the best. One batch explained to me their project idea and said, “Ma’am, don’t worry about the complexity, we are a 3 member team and we can do it. Just tell us if this idea is good”. It surprised me at their determination and sincerity towards the work.
Students worked in teams of 2 or 3 members. Team work does magic. It binds them together to stay motivated and helps complement each other’s strength and weakness. Having started their college life in virtual mode, this was an opportunity for them to learn and work together. They used to conduct frequent team meetings where they share their learnings and work together. Once in a while, I too get invited to these meetings to help them with their problems. The students not only collaborated within their team but also helped other projects whenever there was a need.
Students show great responsibility when they are the decision makers. So I asked them to come up with a deadline for the project. They decided to complete it by the first week of February. We had a demo session on 7th February, Sunday. Before the demo, every team had their project in GitHub and also did documentation for the project. There were 16 projects for demo.
Here are the demo videos of few projects
- A mobile simulator – build using Tkinter, PySimpleGUI and Pygame.
- A voice assistant app
- An instagram bot
- An app for restaurants
- Healthcare App
- Voice Assistant for your pc
During the demo, every team was keen in explaining every functionality of their project and how they achieved it. The students displayed a sense of pride in their project. All the 16 projects were amazing. There was a lot of work put in learning and building the apps. The amount of learning they had while building these projects would be far more than what they learned in the programming club. They have explored and played with different Python modules. I wonder how they did so much of work amidst their regular academic schedule. It all shows their commitment and enthusiasm to learn.