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‘Games can pique the interest of students in coding’

Thirteen year old programming prodigy Pranay Chopra, a class 9 student of Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park, has devised a motion calculator and says coding is like literacy in today’s age



Pranay came up with a motion calculator, that uses the three Equations of Motion (v = u + at; s = ut + (1/2) at² and v² = u² + 2as) to calculate initial velocity, final velocity, acceleration, distance or time. He made the calculator using Python Programming Language. In an interview, he explains why students should learn to code.

Why did you make a motion calculator?

Scientific calculators don’t make sense to common people, but they are widely used in situations that require quick access to certain mathematical functions. When I Googled for a calculator that would help me solve problems based on three Equations of Motion, I couldn’t find anything. This gave me an idea to make one. I hope other students benefit from this calculator. It will help them save time.

What attracted you to Python?

Python is one of the world’s most popular programming languages and is used in many different programming scenarios, from games to web applications. It’s used by some of the biggest companies in the world, including Intel, IBM, Netflix, Pixar, Facebook, JP Morgan Chase, Spotify, and other big companies. Even Google’s YouTube is largely written in Python. It is extensively used in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. I have been learning Python for more than two years now. In school, I got introduced to QB64, a programming language created in 2007. I was in class 5 then. I studied it religiously for a couple of years. Then, someone advised me to learn Python as its syntax is similar to QB64. Since then, I have been hooked on Python. 

How has your experience been so far?

Like any other programmer, my experience has been full of bugs (laughs). Though I am enjoying every moment of it. I have learned a lot in the last couple of years, but I still have miles to go. Python is such a versatile and vast language. 

Why are the benefits of learning coding at a young age?

The biggest advantage of learning coding or programming is that it improves your problem-solving skills. Students learn how to approach a problem and solve it using an analytical approach. In programming, you are constantly solving bugs and this enhances your creativity. It also develops computational thinking. As the name suggests, thinking as a computer refers to computational thinking. Most importantly, coding teaches you that it’s okay to fail.  It even prepares you for the future. As technology gets more entrenched in our lives, programmers will be one of the most sought after professionals in the days ahead.

What’s the best way for children to learn Python or any programming language?

I think games are the best way to pique the interests of students in programming/coding. Most of us love playing games. When you tell someone you too can make your own game, it sparks joy in them. You can play various free coding games to learn coding skills – including all sorts of different programming languages.

“I believe coding or programming is a basic literacy parameter in the digital age. It teaches you to take a step back and approach situations from a new perspective. I aspire to become an entrepreneur in the field of IT.”

Pranay Chopra

Link for Motion Calculator

Dheeraj Sharma is Asst. Editor (Newsroom). He covers events, webinars, conducts interviews and brings you exciting news snippets. He has over 10 years' of experience in prominent media organizations. He takes pleasure in the small things in life and believes a healthy work-life balance is key to happiness. You can reach him at [email protected]