An associate professor at Georgia Tech, told the AP that the [school's Robotics course] is an attempt to combat "prime number" syndrome. That disease, he said, afflicts computer science departments that typically ask newcomers to write dull programs performing mathematical algorithms."
Purposes
Elements

about making "magic". Gears make magic. They take rotational energy, and change its speed, or direction, or plane of motion. 
This book uses problemsolving puzzles and games to combat the perception that learning to program is boring and hard . Each puzzle/game is presented as a graduated series of programming labs. A GUI version of the puzzles and games appears on the front cover. The labs limit themselves to console output and keyboard input.
Beyond introducing the language of C++ and the craft of programming; this book aggressively integrates algorithms and data structures. Years ago, a Niklaus Wirth book asserted "Algorithms + Data Structures = Programs". Lifeonthejob is a daily pilgrimage to craft algorithms and data structures.
In the Mastermind project, suggesting that the computation of the "totally correct" response is an algorithm, may seem trivial; but for the beginner  it is an act of algorithm. Computing the "partially correct" response may seem too advanced for the beginner; but I propose that it is an invaluable challenge.
In the Cracker Barrel peg puzzle: how should jump requests be validated and implemented? Is it algorithm or data structure?
Set is a card puzzle whose goal is to find sets of three cards that are all the same, or all different, across three independent "facets" or "dimensions". What algorithm will produce a decision on whether three selected cards constitute a set? What algorithm is necessary and sufficient to compute all the sets present in an array of twelve cards?