Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer

Summary

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Where does creativity come from? Steve Jobs once said it evolves from “connecting things.” The story of Ada Lovelace supports this idea. Energized by a curious imagination as a child, Ada designed fantastic creations. Her mother worried about Ada’s wild notions and sent her to school to study science. Ada thrived at the school. She was especially interested in learning about machines. One machine in particular caught her eye; the loom. Punch cards full of holes told the machine what to do, and this fascinated Ada. She wanted to apply this technology to create something new. One day, she did. She wrote the first computer program.

This is the perfect book to introduce computer programming. The fanciful illustrations work well with the enjoyable narrative to describe the technology. Readers will appreciate this story and remember Ada Lovelace’s contribution to programming.

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Response to Literature

AASL Standards Framework for Learners:V.C.1 Learners engage with the learning community by expressing curiosity about a topic of personal interest or curricular relevance.

  • Explain that code tells a computer what to do. Everything they see on a website or a game was created by code. The placement of the paragraphs, the flash of a video, the size of an image is all made with code.
  • Show learners what code looks like. Find a favorite website and view the websites source code. Learn how to do this by reading How to Read Your Website Source Code and Why It’s Important for SEO.
  • Invite learners to share what they notice about the source code.
  • Watch What Most Schools Don’t Teach to inspire coding. Show learners the code for the video by clicking the share button on the bottom right hand side. Explain that people use that code to embed the video on their websites or blogs.
  • Ask if they would like to give coding a try.
  • Go to Code.org and model how to find courses that are just right for their age group.
  • Assess learning by asking what fascinated them the most about what they learned about coding.

Web Resources:

How to Read Your Website Source Code and Why It’s Important for SEO
(https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228076)

Steve Jobs: The Next Insanely Great Thing (https://www.wired.com/1996/02/jobs-2/)

What Most Schools Don’t Teach (https://youtu.be/nKIu9yen5nc)

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