Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Python Camp: Home

Overview, syllabus, and pre-work for Python Camp

About Python Camp

Learn Python and foundations of programming in this multi-day, non-credit, interactive mini-course. This opportunity is for beginners and does not require any programming experience. No software installation required. 

You’ll learn and practice the basics of programming, such as: data types, loops, functions, working with numeric data, and plotting data. The mini-course introduces basic scientific computing and data plotting concepts through the use of the Python libraries NumPy, Matplotlib, and pandas. The workshop uses as its curriculum “Get Data Off the Ground with Python,” an Open edX course by GW professor Lorena Barba.

Space is limited; participants are expected to attend all four sessions. There will be brief assignments to complete before each session. Participants should plan to spend time outside the workshop to prepare and to complete homework assignments. Those who meet the camp requirements will receive a certificate of completion.

In-class hours: 16

Anticipated out-of-class hours: 8-15

All sessions are free to GW students, faculty, and staff.

The final due date for all homework is Oct. 17th, 2022

Registration for Python Camp in September 2022 is now closed. Please check out our other upcoming Python workshops at

Enrolling in the Open edX course does not register you for Python Camp; it is a supplementary resource. 

Python Camp is taught by Debbie Bezanson, Ricky Graham, Dan Kerchner, Josh McDonald, and Dolsy Smith. Questions? Please email us at

Pre-work for Day 1

Pre-work for Day 1

Complete by 1pm on Friday, September 9, 2022

  1. Create an account in Open edX and enroll in the course, "Get Data Off the Ground with Python". See video for step-by-step instructions. (Note: signing up for Open edX is not the same as registering for Python Camp. The Open edX site is for accessing curriculum and homework assignments. It's freely available.)
  2. Log into Jupyter Hub and learn your way around: watch the intro video.
  3. You should have received a link to join the GW Coders Slack. Let us know if you haven't. 
  4. Watch Ryan Mitchell, "How Computers Think" from LinkedIn Learning (available free to GW students, faculty, and staff).


Day 1

Day 1

Friday, September 9, 1:00-5:00PM

  1. Welcome and Getting Started
  2. Python as a calculator and data types (notebook code)
  3. Strings (notebook code)
  4. String methods (notebook code)
  5. Lists (notebook code)


Python Camp Cheat Sheet

Pre-work for Day 2

Pre-work for Day 2 

Complete by 1PM on Friday, September 16, 2022

Download and try submitting Graded Homework #1. Watch the Homework Notebooks video with instructions. The goal is to learn the process. The full notebook does not need to be completed until October 17

You can also work on Graded Homework #2 and #3; these are not due until October 17, 2022.

Day 2

Day 2

Friday, September 16, 1:00-5:00PM

  1. Q&A about yesterday's material
  2. Iteration with for loops (notebook code)
  3. Conditionals (notebook code)
  4. Combining string methods, loops, and conditionals (notebook code)


Bonus Materials for self paced learning:

  1. Strings and lists in action, with text from a web page (notebook code)


Python Camp Cheat Sheet

Pre-work for Day 3

Pre-work for Day 3

Complete by 1PM on Friday, September 23, 2022

You can also keep working on Graded Homeworks #1, #2, #3, #4.

Day 3

Day 3

Friday, September 23, 1:00-5:00PM

  1. Dictionaries and functions; working with real-world data (notebook code)


Pre-work for Day 4

Pre-work for Day 4

Friday, September 30, 2022, 1:00-5:00PM

Work on Graded Homeworks #1, #2, #3, #4,  #8. 

Day 4

Day 4

Friday, September 30, 1:00-5:00PM

  1. Data wrangling with pandas (notebook code)
  2. Data visualization with matplotlib (notebook code)
  3. Linear regression with real data (notebook code)
  4. Using Python beyond Python Camp


Requirements for Certificate of Completion

Participants who complete Python Camp will receive a certificate of completion PDF. Requirements for the certificate:

  • Attend the four sessions of the mini-course, 1:00-5:00PM. 
  • Complete the required course homework notebooks by end of the day on October 17th, getting at least 80% correct for each homework. 
  • Contribute to a positive learning environment through respectful and constructive behavior and language. Be familiar with our Code of Conduct below. 

We recognize that these are stressful and uncertain times, so contact us if you need to reschedule to another offering of Python Camp or have concerns about any of the requirements or deadlines. 


The following graded homeworks, found in the Open edX course, are required for the certificate of completion. Video instructions on how to download and submit homeworks

  • Graded HW #1: Strings
  • Graded HW #2: String methods
  • Graded HW #3: Lists
  • Graded HW #4: Iterations & conditionals
  • Graded HW #8: Function concepts. Not a notebook, do the quiz in the course site
  • Graded HW #9: Good plots. Not a notebook--do the quiz in course site

There is no final exam required for Python Camp.

Code of Conduct

In this  workshop, we value everyone’s participation, we strive for transparency and inclusion, and we promote collaboration. We want every learner to have a rewarding, fruitful learning experience. To achieve this, everyone is expected to show courtesy and respect towards each other. The following Code of Conduct is agreed upon by those taking this workshop:


  • All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds. 
  • We will not tolerate harassment in the workshop, in person or online. Harassment refers to offensive verbal or written comments in reference to gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion; sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of class meetings, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other participants.
  • Behave professionally. Avoid jokes that could be interpreted as sexist, racist, or exclusionary. Remember that humor is a social act.
GW Libraries • 2130 H Street NW • Washington DC