Pokemons, the colorful fictional characters, are the favorites of both kids and adults. They are so popular that sightings of rare varieties can create stampedes in big cities. You "gotta catch 'em all".
This fun summer camp helps middle-schoolers learn to code in R by finding information on Pokemons. R is the premier language for data science and is used extensively by researchers. It is also really easy, and even the middle-schoolers have no problem learning it.
Every day we start with a set of interesting questions on Pokemons and then write our own code to answer them. Pokemon enthusiasts may find answers to simple questions in online sites (e.g. Bulbapedia), but your code will allow you to go way beyond simple queries. In the process, you learn various coding concepts like -
- R-programming is no more difficult than operating a calculator,
- How to find data on Pokemons from github in the form of tables,
- How to load an Excel or csv file in R,
- How to find information on specific Pokemons from the table,
- How to plot data,
- How to perform searches for approximate word patterns,
- How to find data by joining multiple tables.
Day 1 - Gotta Catch 'em All
You will start with Pokemon questions, and look for tables of data online. Then, you will learn the basic programming concepts of R and find it no more complicated than a powerful calculator.
Day 2 - Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Lightest of them all?
You will learn how to read a table of data (Excel or csv) in R and find useful information. You will answer questions like which Pokemons is the lightest. For these tasks, you will use the dplyr library and tidyverse in R.
Day 3 - His Name Starts with Pi and Ends with Chu
Often we need to search for approximate word patterns like "which Pokemon names start with Pi and end with chu" (Hint. There are other ones than Pikachu). Such searches are easy in R with its regular expression library in stringr. You will answer questions requiring approximate searches.
Day 4 - Will You Join Me?
In real life, data does not always come in one table. Often they are split in bits and pieces in multiple tables. R has a way to join those tables to extract information. You will learn to find information on Pokemons by "joining" multiple tables.
Day 5 - Be a Pokemon Connoisseur
R is a great tool for statistical analysis and plotting of data. You will learn to use those commands in this session. You will also learn that your skills are transferable to any tabular data, not just Pokemons. We will see couple of examples including a table consisting of all results from international soccer.