Date: Monday, June 17 - Thursday, June 20

Location: South Fayette Intermediate School

Grades: Grades 6-8 with opportunities 9-12

Facilitators: Lynette Lortz, Computer Science Teacher, South Fayette School District with Parv

Shrivastava and Prateek Jukalkar, South Fayette Student Team.


This is a great opportunity to experience learning a computer programming language in a new way. All eighth graders at South Fayette are immersed in a simulation we created, with the help of the CMU Teknowledge team, based on the book The Martian. Students must learn Python programming language and then program robotic devices to complete challenges to be rescued from Mars. Along the way they must use their computational thinking skills to solve mathematical puzzles, engage in science questions, and use their writing skills to save their teammates from life-threatening circumstances. Who will survive? Will it be you?


This experience focuses on using computer programming to solve problems for humanity and is designed to build excitement and interest in computer programming for all. In a vertically aligned pathway this course becomes the bridge for discovery from middle school to high school.


  • Leave with a 30-day unit on teaching Python programming language including lesson plans, videos, and classroom presentations

  • Learn to program robotic devices using Python 

  • Gain an understanding of integrating computer science in all curriculum areas 

Session 111: Introduction to Python Programming:

The Martian