Run a pair programming contest in Python to motivate, challenge, and boost students’ self-confidence.

  • Students should form teams of 2 and need at least one computer per team.
  • Offer prizes, such as $5 gift cards to a coffee shop, to incentivize students to try their best.
    • Ties for the highest score are broken in favour of the team with the faster solutions.
  • Students will be interested in the solutions to the programming challenges, which should increase engagement in subsequent lectures.
    • This competition provides a great lead-in for discussing Big-O runtime and algorithm complexity.
  • Read Arnold Rosenbloom’s article for more info on how Rosenbloom set up a contest in his classroom.