Introductory Programming

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Programs and introductory resources for children and teens

Sonic-Pi - an introductory programming IDE that allows one to create music by writing programs for a Raspberry Pi, Mac or Windows computers.
Scratch - drag and drop programming environment for children. Use to create games, animations and stories.
Alice drag and drop programming environment]. Can be used to create games, movies, animations and interactive environments. Uses Java under the IDE, which can be examined by more advanced students.
Turtle progamming environment, using the Logo programming language.
Code Combat

For general audiences (including adults)

BlueJ introductory Java programming environment


  • The New Boston] programming video series.
  • Free Code Camp - excellent introductory web development and programming instruction site. 300+ hours of tutorials and programming challenges. Introduces students to GitHub, Focus on html, css, javascript, javascript libraries.
  • Codecademny - starts free, goes to paid. Starts with video instruction, goes to forums and tutorials.
  • Code School - starts free, goes to paid, Starts with video instruction, goes to forums and tutorials.
  • Tree House - same model as Code School and Codecademy, but has a really good introduction to WordPress.
  • TutsPlus - starts free, goes to paid, Starts with video instruction, goes to forums and tutorials.
  • Poignant Guide to Ruby - a cartoon and comic driven introduction to the Ruby programming language.
  • Code Avengers

Pro resources

For when you are further along, know some programming and are looking to improve your skills.


Processing -- Simplified programming language used to program the Arduino. Prefab java (lots of built in functions). More advanced students can 'pop the hood' and take a look at the libraries.
Arduino -- prefab microcontroller


Mindstorms Wikipedia page, detailing the Lego Mindstorms product history and scope. Also, programming languages.
Lego WeDo for ages 7 - 11. Integrates with the Scratch programming environment.
Lego Mindstorms programmable buildable robots.
Oregon Robotic's NXT Mindstorms video tutorials. Comprehensive explanations of how to handle data flow through your program. Need to build to really drill it in.
Project gallery
9697 Education kit build projects, with instructions
Oregon Robotic's EV3 Mindstorms video tutorials