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Processing

Processing is a great entry-level text based programming language, development environment, and online community. Processing was initially created in 2001 as a software sketchbook to teach computer programming fundamentals in a visual context.

Processing is a dialect of the “Java” programming language: the syntax is similar, but adds custom graphic and interactive features which allows a student to write interesting programs and see visual results right from the beginning.

A great feature about Processing the ability to expand capabilities via libraries.  For example, one library provides extensions that interact with the Finch Robot.  The Finch is a robot designed for Computer Science education.