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🔥 Exciting World of Web APIs


Modern web is an ever changing landscape. This 1-2 day introductory course is a fun way for high-school students (9th-12th graders) to learn about how Web Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) tie together the internet of today - encompassing web and mobile applications that we use to search flights, book a rede, look up the weather or even just browse through funny cat videos!

Teaching Guidelines

Web APIs are the primary interface to interact with modern internet and web services. For example, each time you call your Uber or Lyft using your mobile, you use APIs. Through this course, students get a high-level overview of the Web APIs - what they are, how they work, along with some popular types and their examples.

  • Introduce the students to the basics of web APIs.
  • Demonstrate the use of an example API (Giphy, Weather API, etc.) in a program of their preferred programming language.
  • Demonstrate the use of Wikipedia API which allows retrieving information from Wikipedia.
  • Discuss some exciting use cases with Wikipedia API and encourage the students to use them in creative ways to build custom web applications. Example: develop an app that makes a collage of 10 famous personalities on Wikipedia with your last name.
  • Inspire students to explore the knowledge stored in Wikipedia using the magic of APIs in creative ways.
  • Continue to support students as they keep working on their projects afterward.

Course Contents

ℹ️ Note: This curriculum is intended to be a 2-day workshop. Ideally, each lesson below could be split further into two for teaching purpose; totaling every session no longer than 45 minutes.

📖 Lesson 1

Introduction and Overview [Slides] [~1hr 30m]

  • Anatomy of a Web-page
  • Introduction to Chrome Developer Tools
  • 🔧 Activity 1: Use chrome developer tools to change a webpage's HTML and CSS and run custom JavaScript code.
  • Introduction to Popcode

📖 Lesson 2

The Modern Web [Slides] [~1hr 30m]

  • How the web works
  • 🔧 Activity 2: Submarine cables and their journey
  • Introduction to Web APIs
  • 🔧 Activity 3: Use Metaweather API to find if it is raining in London or not

📖 Lesson 3

Introduction to Wikipedia API [Slides] [~1hr 30m]

  • Fun Wikipedia facts and features
  • Quick history of Wikis
  • Wikipedia API: How it works
  • 🔧 Activity 4: Small project building using the Wikipedia API in Popcode

📖 Lesson 4

Ideas for Wikipedia Apps [Slides] [~1hr 30m]

  • 🔧 Activity 5: Search for title “Barack Obama”
  • Share brainstorming tips for app ideas
  • Discuss pointers for app designing
  • Share interesting themes or ideas for custom Wikipedia apps

✏️ Project

Students build their web apps [~3hrs]

Course Designers

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