Grades 9-12

Finch used in classroomAt the high school level, the Finch is appropriate for students with a wide range of programming experience. With the Finch, testing and debugging occur in physical space, as well as on the computer screen; this is helpful as students learn to design and write programs.


Block-Based Activities

A drag-and-drop programming language such as Snap! is an excellent choice for students with no prior programming experience. Snap! supports all basic programming concepts, including loops, decision statements, variables, and recursion. These lessons and activities can be used to create a course that uses Snap! to introduce students to computer science.

Text-Based Activities

If your students have previous experience in programming, they may be ready to move to a text-based language. Many text-based languages are supported for the Finch, and these activities are appropriate for any of them.

Python Sample



This unit by Dianne O-Grady-Cunniff is appropriate for a general introductory course in computer science and/or engineering design.

The Finch can also be used throughout AP Computer Science A to enable students to experience how software controls robotic hardware. The Finch class is a good example of how a large class with many methods might be organized, and students can even extend the Finch class to make their own custom version!

Java Sample


My AP Java students (grades 10 - 12) really enjoyed (and benefited) working with the Finch. As one student stated, "The Finch helped me understand objects and their methods in a way that the textbook never could." Another commented, "I love my Finch."

- Carolyn Stewart, Computer Science Teacher, Franklin Regional High School, Murrysville, PA

To increase enrollment in my high school computer science classes I searched for an innovative way to teach problem-solving, critical thinking, and basic programming concepts. The Finch provides a unique method and hands-on approach in teaching programming. Students are engaged and excited to create programs for the Finch. They receive instantaneous and visual feedback of their efforts.

- Pam Volakis, Computer Science Teacher, West Allegheny High Schoool, Imperial, PA